business news in context, analysis with attitude

Dow Jones reports that David Rots, a former Kmart executive vice president, has been ordered by a judge to turn over documents that the company’s internal investigators believe will reveal the machinations that led up to the company’s bankruptcy. The company has said that it believes it may have legal recourse against former corporate officers, including ex-CEO Charles Conaway, for gross negligence.

Judge Susan Pierson Sonderby said that Rots has until June 6 to produce a range of documents. Rots has refused thus far to produce the documents and answer questions in a deposition because he didn’t want to incriminate himself, but the judge said that these constitutional rights did not apply in this case.

In addition to having documents believed germane to the investigation, Rots was the recipient of a $2.5 million loan under the company's retention loan program, which has been the subject of much criticism.

Kmart emerged from bankruptcy last week, having closed more than 600 stores and laid off more than 35,000 people.
KC's View:
It'll be fun to watch these former executives held accountable for the actions that helped drive Kmart into bankruptcy. But it won’t make the company's stores any more attractive or compelling for consumers to shop.