The Associated Press is reporting that Pilot Flying J has revised the starting date for the settlement in the class action lawsuit against it.
The original settlement required Pilot Flying J to pay back all money owed with interest. But it only covered the period between Jan. 1, 2008, and July 15, 2013. The revised settlement covers overcharging that occurred as far back as Jan. 1, 2005.
So what's interesting is that Pilot is conceding that the scheme had been going on not just five years, but at least eight. Why is that interesting? Because someone in this state would have some mighty uncomfortable questions to answer if the scheme had been going on much longer than eight years ago.
Remember this story from the Times Free Press about Gov. Haslam facing grilling from The Washington Post about the Pilot scandal from back in April?
It says, in part:
"The governor really hasn't been active in the company [since he stepped down as president in 2002], so it's a pretty big stretch to tie this one to him too closely," Haslam campaign consultant Tom Ingram said. "Obviously someone can try to make an issue of it. We'll see how it goes and deal with the facts."
What a difference four months make. How much less sure do we feel about Tom Ingram's credibility now than we did back in April? And if the stretch from 2002 to 2008 is "pretty big," the stretch from 2002 to 2005 is less so. It's just one more leap back in time, the same size as the one Pilot made on Wednesday.