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New York -- The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTSR), the second largest U.S. public pension fund, has filed a lawsuit against current and former Wal-Mart Stores’ executives and board members over mishandling of allegations that officials knew about a bribery campaign in Mexico and covered it up. The fund holds more than 5.3 million shares of Wal-Mart.
Defendants named in the lawsuit include Michael Duke, Wal-Mart CEO and board member Michael Duke, former Wal-Mart CEO and board member H. Lee Scott Jr., and Eduardo Castro-Wright, former CEO of Walmex (the chain’s Mexican unit) and current CEO of Wal-Mart Stores USA.
“By utilizing the derivative action, CalSTRS is seeking to remedy the damages sustained by Wal-Mart as a result of alleged gross misconduct by Wal-Mart's executive officers and directors," CalSTRS CEO Jack Ehnes said in a statement.
The pension fund retained the law firms of Girard Gibbs Llp and Labaton Sucharow Llp for the lawsuit, which was filed in the Court of Chancery in Wilmington, Del.
A Wal-Mart spokesman said the company is reviewing the lawsuit.
"We take our responsibility to our shareholders very seriously," the spokesman said, in a Reuters report. "We are reviewing the lawsuit closely and are thoroughly investigating the issues that have been raised."