NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Texaco Inc. on Wednesday fired a top finance insurance subsidiary executive after it received the findings of an independent investigation into employees' actions that became the focal point of a racial discrimination suit.
The company said it terminated the employment of assistant treasurer David Keough after independent counsel Michael Armstrong submitted his report on the incident to the company. Texaco said it had turned the report over to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which is investigating the matter.
Keough was among a number of executives secretly recorded discussing the destruction of documents in the discrimination suit and making racist comments by Richard Lundwall, former senior coordinator for personnel services in the company's finance department.
In addition, the company also said it was taking the strongest action available under corporate policy against Lundwall and former treasurer Robert Ulrich, who was involved in the discussions, which is the permanent suspension of benefits which are legally allowable.
Lundwall is currently facing criminal charges as well.
Peter Mead, a fourth employee involved, was suspended without pay for two weeks and ordered to undergo sensitivity training.
In a letter circulated to employees, Texaco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter Bijur emphasized the actions of the four individuals was not indicative of the beliefs and behavior of Texaco's 27,000 employees.
"Behavior which violates the company's policies will not be tolerated and each of us is accountable for our actions.
"The success of our business depends upon our unwavering commitment to the highest standards. Consistently strong ethical behavior is at the root of a strong image and reputation, which we fully intend to restore," Bijur wrote.
The next action could come Jan. 15 when the U.S. attorney will decide whether to indict Lundwall.
Those familiar with the case say the deadline will probably be put off since Lundwall, 55, is now cooperating with authorities.