Enterprise Defends Firing of Controller

ST. LOUIS -- In a court hearing this month, an attorney for Enterprise Rent-A-Car defended the company's decision in January 2001 to fire Thomas P. Dunn from his $650,000-a-year position as vice president and corporate controller.

Dunn's wrongful-termination suit, filed against Enterprise in May 2001, claims he was terminated after refusing to provide and defend false financial data in preparation for a planned initial public offering (IPO). Such information, said Dunn's attorney, would have misled the markets into overvaluing Enterprise's stock. But during a hearing July 2, Enterprise attorney Michael Kahn argued that the company fired Dunn in response to complaints about his integrity and behavior. Kahn denied that Enterprise management ever asked Dunn to engage in deceptive accounting practices.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Colleen Dolan said she will rule on depositions and motions associated with the case later this month. Lisa Van Amburg, Dunn's attorney, is seeking to take depositions of Enterprise founder Jack Taylor as well as other part-owners and members of the company's advisory board. Dunn is seeking a minimum of $5 million in damages.

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