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Motorola accuses ex-CFO of destroying evidence

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 8:05am
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Motorola Inc. accused its former chief financial officer Wednesday of hiding his tracks by wiping files from a company laptop.

The court filing is another move in an unusual legal battle set off by Paul Liska's departure from the company on Jan. 29.

Liska said he was fired from the maker of telecommunications equipment for trying to warn that its projections for its ailing cell phone business were too optimistic.

Motorola, for its part, said Liska's "erratic behavior" made the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company look for a replacement late last year. When he discovered the search, he tried to extort the company, it claims.

In its filing with a county court in Chicago on Wednesday, Motorola said Liska took a laptop with him when he left and returned it two weeks later after running a data destruction utility. The files weren't backed up at the company. According to an affidavit by a Motorola technology support employee, Liska had specifically asked that only his e-mail be backed up.

Motorola said the destruction of files deprived it of crucial information about Liska's activities. It wants the court to order Liska to turn over all of his other computers and storage media so Motorola can comb them for the missing files.

Liska's lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.

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