Who Were the 15 Employees Fired By General Motors Today?

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General Motors, reeling from millions of
recalls and an ensuing scandal, fired 15
employees today. That’s just two more
than the number of people killed by a
defect in the company’s cars. In
announcing the firings, CEO Mary Barra
refused to name those who were axed.
That is where you come in.
The firings came after an attorney hired
by GM to do an internal investigation
found that the company was
“incompetent and negligent” in failing to
prevent dozens of deaths due to an
ignition switch defect that it was aware of
going back to at least 2004. But that
investigation—which was carried out by
Anton Valukas, the chairman of Jenner &
Block, a law firm with deep ties to GM—
was careful to note that GM did not
willfully cover up its knowledge of the
defect.
According to the New York Times , the 15
people fired today were mostly in “senior
and executive roles.” One of those, per
the Detroit Free Press , was a suspended
engineer named Ray DeGiorgio, who was
implicated in a 2006 memo about the
defective part. Two others have been
named by Bloomberg: Bill Kemp, a senior
lawyer “responsible for safety issues
within its legal department” and Gary
Altman, a program engineering manager.
The other 12 remain unnamed.
Much like it did with our “too big to fail
banks,” it’s unlikely that the Justice
Department will prosecute any individual
connected to the GM recalls. GM has
already been ordered to pay $35 million—
a “record fine,” much like the banks years
ago—which amounts to less than one day
of the company’s revenue . Still, the
families of the victims want more:
namely, they want to see those
responsible put in prison.
Maybe the 15 GM employees fired today
are scapegoats, or maybe they played
significant parts in the deaths of 13
people. Either way, we want to know who
they are.

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