"We are committed to having a strong and effective global anti-corruption program everywhere we operate and taking appropriate action for any instance of non-compliance," Brooke said.
The bribery allegations were first reported by the New York Times. Last month, the paper published another story focusing on how Wal-Mart's Mexico division offered large payoffs to get things that the law prohibited. It focused on how Wal-Mart paid $52,000 to secure approval to build its store in Teotihuacan on the site of ancient ruins. Although local zoning would have prohibited Wal-Mart from building its store, the Times reported that the company allegedly bribed local officials to have that map redrawn.
In the Times article Wal-Mart spokesman Dave Tovar denied that executives in the U.S. knew anything about the alleged corruption involving construction of the store in Teotihuacan. However, Buchanan notes that the letter from Waxman and Cummings "leaves the wrong impression that our public statements are contradicted by the information they released today." She says the company's statement focused on events in 2004.
The documents released Thursday by lawmakers include an email from November 2005 from Maritza Munich, then General Counsel of Wal-Mart International to Duke and other senior Wal-Mart executives. The email informed them of charges related to bribes paid to obtain permits for a store in Mexico.
The email contained a forwarded summary of an interview with Sergio Cicero Zapata, the former in-house counsel for Wal-Mart de Mexico who oversaw obtaining building through permits throughout Mexico.
The lawmakers also made public another email that Wal-Mart General Counsel Thomas Mars sent Oct. 15, 2005, to Duke and Tom Hyde, the executive vice president of Wal-Mart. That email referenced to bribes paid to obtain permits for the Teotihuacan site.
"You'll want to read this. I'm available to discuss next steps," Mars wrote in the email.