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Friday, 30 April 2010 23:52

Rejected Chrysler dealers likely will see critical e-mails, judge says

Automotive News has reported that a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge wants two rejected Chrysler dealers to see sealed company e-mails personally critical of them -- documents their lawyers say will support a claim that the stores were closed for reasons other than performance.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez in New York said April 22 that his “initial reaction” was to unseal the e-mails for possible use in arbitration by former Chrysler dealers Jim Tarbox of North Kingstown, R.I., and Mark Calisi of Riverhead, N.Y., a transcript of the hearing shows.

The 2009 e-mails by Chrysler managers criticized the dealers for being litigious, according to copies that have surfaced in the public domain.

The Chrysler e-mails about Tarbox and Calisi open the door on a decision-making process that some dealers maintain was marred by personal pique. What's not yet clear is whether the e-mails will have any influence beyond the arbitrations of those two dealers.

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