One of the top lawyers for ride-hailing firm Uber has stated that the company’s security manager that was paid the sum of $4.5 million over his termination was derided. The lawyer stated that the security manager can only be described as a thief and an extortionist as his claims were false after he accused the company of unethical conduct.
The lawyer Angela Padilla made this statement while she was responding to claims on Wednesday by the former security manager who accused Uber of using encrypted messaging to ensure that it isn’t discovered spying on its rivals, evading authorities and fighting off lawsuits.
Even though Padilla stated that most of the claims were fabricated, the CEO of the company Dara Khosrowshahi confirmed that some of the allegations made by the ex-manager were in fact true. Back in September, the CEO revealed in a tweet that he ordered his teams not to make use of apps such as Wickr and Telegram for “Uber-related business”. He gave this order after he learned that they had been using encrypted and ephemeral means of communication.
A member of the corporate surveillance team, Richard Jacobs stated that he entered an agreement with Uber after he left the company. The agreement was that he would remain a consultant to the company and to corporate with any government investigation going on. The deal also stops him from publicly slandering the company.
Earlier on Wednesday, a U.S. District Judge William Alsup Alsup told Angela Padilla that $4.5 million is a huge amount of money to pay to someone who according to them is making dishonest claims. He further criticized uber and the way they handled the claims by Jacobs.
Alsup stated that “People don’t pay that kind of money for B.S. On the surface it looks like you covered this up, refused to turn it over to the lawyers for reasons that to me are inexplicable, that it would somehow taint the investigation.”
Padilla who was being questioned by Waymo’s lawyers mentioned that Uber disclosed a letter from Jacobs on the 5th of May to their in-house legal counsel and then later forwarding that same letter to outside lawyers at WilmerHale after they were hired to investigate Jacobs’s claims. Padilla further stated that the then CEO Travis Kalanick, general counsel Salle Yoo and a committee set up by the board also saw the letter.
She said, “I felt I had discharged my duty by escalating it.” She stated that she was prohibited from sharing the letter by the in-house lawyers until the accusations were reviewed. The company afterward shared the letter with the Department of Justice.