Gag Order for Ex-Wal-Mart Employee

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Wal-Mart won a gag order to stop a fired security operative from talking to reporters and a judge ordered him to provide Wal-Mart attorneys with “the names of all persons to whom he has transmitted, since January 15, 2007, any Wal-Mart information.”

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. filed a lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order directly with a Circuit Court judge after court hours Friday.

The judge?s temporary order bars Gabbard from disclosing any further Wal-Mart trade secrets or confidential information.

Wal-Mart declined to comment on the “Project Red” report except to say in a statement, “Our senior management, our board and their advisors regularly conduct thorough, strategic reviews of all aspects of our business. That?s just good governance. We look at a full range of alternatives, many of which are considered and rejected, and we will not comment specifically on any of them.”

ICCR members hold more than 2 million shares in the retailer.

Wal-Mart?s union-backed critics said the latest revelations about Wal-Mart?s security operations and the share price project deserved congressional scrutiny.

The restraining order suggests that Gabbard, 44, might still have Wal-Mart equipment or documents. It orders him to surrender any documents or data and a long list of “all home and work computers, personal digital assistants, hard drives, thumb drives, and all other electronic or digital media and hardcopy information.”

Gabbard, a 19-year Wal-Mart veteran, was fired along with his supervisor last month for allegedly recording phones calls between a reporter and company officials and for intercepting pager messages between other persons. Wal-Mart said Gabbard violated its policies.

Wal-Mart made the case public last month and denied Gabbard?s claims that his actions were the result of pressure from Kenneth Senser, a former senior CIA and FBI official who has headed Wal-Mart?s office of global security since 2003.

Gabbard and his former supervisor, Jason Hamilton, who was also fired, have declined repeated requests for interviews with The Associated Press.

But in a text message to The Associated Press last week, Gabbard confirmed the allegations that he was part of a broader surveillance operation against company workers, critics, vendors and consultants that he alleged were approved by the company.

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