Exxon's former CEO and current Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, used an alias email account for communication regarding climate change, New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in the course of an investigation against the oil major on allegations that it withheld information about climate change from shareholders and the public.
The attorney general's office said in a letter on Monday that it found Tillerson had used an alias email address under the pseudonym "Wayne Tracker" from at least 2008 through 2015. The letter also mentions 34 other e-mail accounts "specifically assigned to top executives, board members, or assistants" that the attorney general thinks should have been included.
A spokeswoman for the State Department said that inquiries related to Tillerson's email accounts should be directed to Exxon.
Mr Tillerson resigned as chairman and chief executive of the company past year after his appointment as secretary of state in President Donald Trump's administration.
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Tillerson used the email alias for eight years and sent thousands of messages.
The letter was sent to a NY state judge overseeing Schneiderman's investigation into whether Exxon misled shareholders and the public about climate change.
Exxon has been accused of trying to cover up the risks of climate change and lying to the public. Wayne is Tillerson's middle name.
The investigations are also the subject of a dispute in Washington, where House Republicans are seeking to derail the state probes on the grounds that they seek to silence scientists who disagree with the widely accepted theory that climate change is caused by humans.
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The letter said that Exxon had produced some 60 documents bearing the "Wayne Tracker " email but never said it was used by Tillerson for relevant communications at Exxon.
"It could be misleading to not tell the attorney general the actual owner of that email address", said Cohen, who isn't involved in the dispute.
"If they had nothing to hide, than why the secret email account?" said Jamie Henn of 350.org, an environmental group.
Schneiderman's office requested that the court order Exxon to produce documents related to the accounts.
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The underlying case, People of the State of New York v. PricewaterhouseCoopers and Exxon Mobil Corporation, was filed in New York State Supreme Court, New York County.