U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used a secondary email address under the name of "Wayne Tracker" to send and receive information about climate change and other topics during his tenure at Exxon Mobil, according to the New York State Attorney General's office. In his letter to the judge, Schneiderman writes that Tillerson, whose middle name is Wayne, used this pseudonym as a "vehicle" to discuss business.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman lobbed the accusation in a letter he sent to a New York court on Monday as a part of an investigation into whether the company hid information from investors and the general public about the link between climate change and fossil fuels.
ExxonMobil produced roughly 60 documents from the "Wayne Tracker" account, but Schneiderman says it never disclosed that this had been Tillerson's account.
It is not unheard of for executives to maintain alias email accounts for inner circle communications. Exxon has denied the allegations against it.
Justice Barry Ostrager in NY state court in Manhattan, who has been overseeing the case, must decide whether to schedule a hearing on the matter.
According to Exxon media relations manager Alan Jeffers, the company handed over emails from the Wayne Tracker address to Schneiderman's office as early as February 2016. The attorney general's office also claimed that the corporation had failed to disclose correspondence from 34 email accounts belonging to senior executives and board members.
The email alias was Wayne.Tracker@ExxonMobil.com.
And, of course, comparison's to former Democratic New York Rep.
Exxon (XOM) did not immediately respond to requests for comment. "If they wanted to address a real concern, they would have handled their questions over document production differently and professionally".
He is far from being a climate change denier, however.
Schneiderman's investigation into Exxon Mobil was borne of an unprecedented settlement in November 2015 with Peabody Coal, the world's largest private sector coal company.
The letter - part of an ongoing legal dispute between NY and Exxon, which Schneiderman has accused of misleading the public about its knowledge of climate change - was first reported by Bloomberg News. Shortly afterwards, based on the same legal theory, the OAG launched its investigation into Exxon.