The Travis County, Texas, District Attorney's Office today dismissed all charges against Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) relating to a 2002 contribution by the company to a Texas political action committee. The dismissal cites evidence indicating there was no intent on the part of Sears to violate Texas law and also references the company's history of good citizenship and high ethical standards.
"We welcome this dismissal as an appropriate action on the part of the District Attorney's office, as we have maintained all along that there was no illegal action on the part of the company in this matter," said Robert J. O'Leary, senior vice president of Sears Public Relations & Government Affairs. "At the same time, we have taken steps to further clarify our contributions policy and will initiate a program to foster education and awareness concerning campaign finance and the debate surrounding it."
As a result of the questions surrounding its Texas contribution, Sears has initiated contact with the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and will sponsor a program developed by the school to educate key constituencies on the laws governing political contributions and to discuss the role of organizations, including corporations, in the political campaign process.
"By raising awareness concerning our political campaign process and the laws governing it, we can ensure that office holders, candidates, their fundraising staffs, companies and other organizations, along with the public, have the information they need to make informed and intelligent judgments on the process and their role in it," said O'Leary. "We are very pleased to sponsor this program and believe the LBJ School is the right institution to carry it forward."
Sears has provided information to the District Attorney's office regarding the Texas contribution in question and will cooperate further, if and as requested.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2003 of $41.1 billion, the company offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, which includes approximately 870 full-line and 1,100 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million service calls made annually.
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Media, Edgar P. McDougal, +1-847-286-9669, or Corinne Gudovic,
+1-847-286-3226, both of Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Web site: http://www.sears.com/