"Q. Are these pricing issues strictly mistakes or did some sales people act inappropriately?
A. As we have indicated, the core issue addressed by the Florida settlement pertained to the Option 2 price plan.
Former employee, David Sherwin, whose customer base was in Southwest Florida, engaged in misconduct, including placing customers on a price plan that they did not choose on an informed basis. We have used this opportunity to re-train the entire sales force on Office Depot's core values of integrity and reliability. Our goals are and always have been to deliver the best products at the best prices, and to provide honest and dependable customer service. For the most part, we feel we have executed those goals consistently.
Q. I heard that a lawsuit filed by Mr. Sherwin against Office Depot in the State of Florida was dismissed. Is that true?
A. At the same time the Office Depot settlement was finalized, the Florida Attorney General separately indicated that it had investigated and was dismissing a "whistleblower" lawsuit brought by David Sherwin. In dismissing Mr. Sherwin's complaint, the Attorney General said that it investigated and found insufficient basis for the claims. Mr. Sherwin undoubtedly had hoped to win a substantial sum for himself from that lawsuit, which may explain what drove his negative PR campaign against Office Depot.
Q. Has this matter affected your relationship with the State of Florida, which is a customer?
A. Office Depot continues to enjoy excellent relationships with our Florida customers, including DMS. Our Florida sales team continues to provide top-notch service and products. We hold the current State of Florida agreement and are actively participating in the State's new bid."