February 02, 2005
Cracker Barrel cooperates

Cracker Barrel becomes the third corporation indicted in the TRMPAC case to cut a deal with the Travis County DA's office, joining Sears and Diversified Collections Services.

Travis County charges against the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. restaurant chain regarding an allegedly illegal political contribution have been dismissed.

The charges were dropped as a result of an agreement signed Feb. 2 by Cracker Barrel and District Attorney Ronnie Earle.

In the settlement, Earle acknowledges Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel didn't intend to violate any laws. The agreement between the DA and Cracker Barrel also states the company has demonstrated "a history of good citizenship and high ethical standards."

Under the settlement, Cracker Barrel is donating $50,000 to support what it calls "a nonpartisan, balanced and publicly informative program" at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.


Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Julie Davis says: "We're pleased with the dismissal of all charges. Since this matter was instituted, we have steadfastly maintained that we had not engaged in any illegal conduct. We believe that this agreement confirms our position."

Davis says the agreement with the DA's office doesn't include an admission of wrongdoing by the company.

Under the settlement, Cracker Barrel must disclose all corporate political contributions on its Web site for two years, and can't make any illegal corporate political contributions in the Texas or any other state that prohibits them.

Three down, five to go. Who's next? Thanks to AJ Garcia for the tip.

In other news, Rep. Joel Hefley has paid for his sins and will no longer be a threat to Tom DeLay. The Stakeholder has more.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall has more on the Ethics Panel purge.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 02, 2005 to Scandalized! | TrackBack