Oregon Attorney General and Treasurer investigating Fox corporation board
Probe focus on whether board breached its fiduciary duties by allowing Fox News to broadcast false claims that Dominion and Smartmatic rigged the 2020 presidential election.
(The Center Square) - Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum started an investigation into a possible stockholder derivative action against the board of directors of Fox Corporation, the corporate parent of Fox News, for a possible breach of fiduciary duty.
Rosenblum is investigating this on behalf of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF); the fund invests in Fox.
“Treasurer Read and I believe that Fox’s board of directors breached its fiduciary duties by allowing Fox News to broadcast false claims that Dominion and Smartmatic rigged the 2020 presidential election,” Rosenblum said in the release. “We hope to hold the board accountable and protect the long-term value of Oregon’s investment in Fox Corp.”
The Oregon Department of Justice and Treasury investigation will consider leading a lawsuit against Fox’s management on behalf of the company’s harmed investors, including Oregon’s public employees.
The investigation will determine if the state thinks the board of directors of Fox should be held accountable for the $787.5 million incurred by Fox to settle its Dominion defamation claim and other legal costs incurred due to defamation from Fox News.
“We invest for Oregon’s public servants, and we aim to hold Fox’s board of directors, including Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, accountable for their decisions,” Treasurer Tobias Read said in the release. “Investigating Fox’s books and records is a necessary and significant step in fulfilling our obligation to our beneficiaries.”
As the Department of Justice's office points out, Fox News had broadcasts after the 2020 presidential election that falsely claimed Dominion and Smartmatic voting machines had been manipulated to rig the election against then-President Donald Trump. The lawsuit revealed the claims were made, even though senior executives and on-air anchors at Fox News knew the claims were false.
Although the Dominion lawsuit has been settled, the Smartmatic litigation is still ongoing.