CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The judge who let partial recordings be played to jurors of the former president of a truckstop chain making racist remarks explains in a new court filing that they stemmed from a work meeting and reflected on the former executive’s character.
News outlets report U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier filed a memo Monday explaining reasons for letting jurors hear excerpts. Audio played in court included former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood using a racial epithet and saying derogatory things about the Cleveland Browns.
Pilot Flying J is controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The Haslams weren’t at the meeting where the recordings were made and haven’t been charged with any wrongdoing.
Hazelwood and three other ex-workers are accused in a scheme to shortchange trucking customers on diesel rebates.