(Adds details from hearing, background, other email cases)
By Karen Freifeld
NEW YORK, March 22 A New York state judge on
Wednesday ordered ExxonMobil Corp to work with New
York's attorney general to recover lost emails from an account
once used by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he was
the oil company's chief executive.
Justice Barry Ostrager of the State Supreme Court in
Manhattan also ordered Exxon by March 31 to turn over documents
from its management committee that had been subpoenaed by Eric
Schneiderman, the attorney general.
Schneiderman had issued the subpoena in November, in
connection with his probe into whether Exxon misled investors
and the public about climate change.
At a court hearing on Wednesday, a lawyer for the attorney
general said Exxon had just made a "bombshell" revelation that
it had lost a year of emails from an account that Tillerson had
used, but under the alias "Wayne Tracker."
Tillerson used the alias account to send and receive
information about climate change and other matters, Schneiderman
said in a March 13 letter to the court.
Schneiderman said Exxon failed to disclose the "Wayne
Tracker" account, and that it had been uncovered during the
review of other materials.
The letter also said Exxon had produced 60 documents bearing
the "Wayne Tracker" email, but had not said the account was
Exxon responded that the account was proper, enabling
Tillerson to communicate easily with other Exxon officials, and
set up because of the flood of email that Tillerson already
It has also said it does not consider the lost emails
significant, and that copies of many would already have been
turned over to the attorney general.
In December, Tillerson left Exxon, where he had also been
chairman, and stepped down as chairman of the American Petroleum
Institute trade group.
The discovery of Tillerson's account came after disclosures
that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Vice
President Mike Pence, when he was Indiana's governor, had used
previously undisclosed accounts to send and receive mail
(Editing by Anthony Lin and Matthew Lewis)