Ernst Lieb, the U.S. Chief Executive fired last October for allegedly violating Mercedes-Benz ethics policies, plans to refute the charges in a German court. The popular former executive claims, through his attorney, that he did not misuse company funds – and will fight to reverse his dismissal. The 56-year-old Lieb was fired in October (he has been replaced by former VP marketing Steve Cannon). Initially, officials declined to discuss what led to his departure, but, as TheDetroitBureau.com subsequently learned, Lieb was netted by Daimler’s new ethics office, accused of being a little loose with the corporate expense account.
The firing, he insisted, was the result of an unfair crackdown by Mercedes’ parent, Daimler AG, which has been struggling to prove that it no longer tolerates the ethical lapses that cost it $185 million in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in 2010.