WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Lawmakers on Thursday released emails that appeared to show Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke knew as far back as 2005 of allegations that company representatives had bribed Mexican officials.
The emails appeared to contradict the company's public statements about a bribery scandal tied to its Mexican affiliate, Wal Mart de Mexico. Lawmakers said Wal-Mart Stores Inc did not dispute the authenticity of the emails.
In two reports last year, the New York Times described how Walmex used large bribes throughout Mexico to open stores it would otherwise have been unable to launch, and how Wal-Mart headquarters had stifled an early internal probe.
The second report focused on how Walmex allegedly paid $52,000 to change a zoning map so it could open a store near the ancient pyramids in Teotihuacan.
The company has maintained its senior executives did not recall mentions of bribery allegations related to the Teotihuacan store.
But in documents released by Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the U.S. House Oversight Committee, and Henry Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, senior lawyers for the company told Duke about the Teotihuacan allegations in 2005.
One email from Wal-Mart General Counsel Thomas Mars in October 2005 provided Duke with a memo summarizing the allegations with a note saying: "You'll want to read this. I'm available to discuss next steps."
A Wal-Mart spokesman said the company would respond to questions about the matter shortly.
Shares of Wal-Mart were down 1 percent to $67.90 in late-morning trading.
(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha in Washington and Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by John Wallace and Jeffrey Benkoe)
Also on HuffPost:
Barbie's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Barbies-Friend-Midge-Pregnant-Tummy/dp/B0006M1ANI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355852020&sr=8-1&keywords=pregnant+barbie">pregnant friend Midge</a> was pulled from Walmart shelves <a href="http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/34728.html">after customers complained</a>. This item is still banned from Walmart stores.
<a href="http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/34728.html">Walmart banned</a> Prince's 1988 album <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lovesexy-Explicit/dp/B002C7GBQG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355852260&sr=8-2&keywords=lovesexy">Lovesexy</a> because of the album's cover. This CD is currently not sold in Walmart stores.
The Morning After Pill
Walmart <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/12-goods-that-make-walmarts-blacklist-2010-10?op=1">refused to sell the morning-after pill</a> between the years 1999 and 2006, until <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/03/health/main1369355.shtml">a lawsuit </a>forced them to sell the drug, and it is sold in Walmart stores today.
America: The Book
Walmart said <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Show-Stewart-Presents-America/dp/B0047PBRJW/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355854859&sr=1-11&keywords=jon+stewart+america">The Daily Show's book </a>was banned because of its photoshopped naked<a href="http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2004-10-19-stewart-book_x.htm"> pictures of Supreme Court Justices</a>. The book is currently not sold in Walmart stores.
Al Snow Action Figure
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/WWE-Classic-Superstar-Collector-Series/dp/B0014P16HG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355855045&sr=8-2&keywords=al+snow">This action figure</a> was banned after two professors at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University complained that the mannequin head<a href="http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/34728.html"> the character and action figure carry</a> around promotes violence against women. This item is not currently sold at Walmart.
All of Marilyn Manson's music and DVDs are <a href="http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-bannedfromwalmart/11/">banned from Walmart</a>. Marilyn Manson's music is still banned from Walmart stores today.
Racy Men's Magazines
Walmart does not carry what it calls "lad mags" or <a href="http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-bannedfromwalmart/11/">racy men's magazines</a> like FHM, Maxim, and Stuff. This ban is still in effect today.
Sheryl Crow's Debut Album
Walmart banned <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sheryl-Crow/dp/B000002G62/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1355858011&sr=8-8&keywords=sheryl+crow">this album</a> because one song on the CD <a href="http://www.eonline.com/news/33553/wal-mart-bans-sheryl-crow-s-next-album">contained the following lyrics</a>: "Watch out sister/Watch out brother/Watch our children as they kill each other/with a gun they bought at the Walmart discount stores." This CD is not currently sold in Walmart stores.
Uncovered: The Whole Truth About The Iraq War
Walmart <a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/24069/the_wal-mart_thought_police">refuses to carry</a> this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Uncovered-Whole-Truth-About-Iraq/dp/B0001IXT36/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355858320&sr=8-1&keywords=uncovered+whole+truth+iraq">documentary</a> about the Iraq War in its stores. However, the DVD is currently available for purchase on Walmart's website.
George Carlin's Book
Walmart deemed <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Bring-Chops-George-Carlin/dp/B004SUZ72E/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355858439&sr=1-3&keywords=george+carlin+jesus">this book </a>to be<a href="http://money.cnn.com/2004/10/28/news/newsmakers/walmart_carlin/"> too provocative to sell</a>. However, the book is currently available for purchase on Walmart's website.
Goo Goo Dolls Album
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/A-Boy-Named-Goo-Dolls/dp/B000002MUE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355858670&sr=8-1&keywords=a+boy+names+goo">This album</a> was banned <a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/24069/the_wal-mart_thought_police">because of its cover art</a>. This CD is not currently for sale at Walmart.
Green Day's Album
This <a href="http://www.amazon.com/21st-Century-Breakdown-Green-Day/dp/B001SAQVDQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355862288&sr=8-1&keywords=21st+century+breakdown">Green Day album</a> was banned because the band<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/21/green-day-vs-walmart_n_206225.html"> refused to edit their lyrics</a>. The CD is still not available for sale at Walmart.