DETROIT -- Ally Financial Inc. has filed a lawsuit against former employee and risk officer Jeffrey Dowd accusing him of wrongly forwarding proprietary information to a personal account.
According to lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Detroit, Dowd resigned from Ally on Oct. 4 to accept an offer from rival TD Auto Finance LLC -- previously known as Chrysler Financial -- to become a senior credit officer. Ally was previously General Motors' GMAC finance unit.
The Detroit News reported the case on Wednesday.
Documents filed with the suit include sample e-mails in which Dowd requested that his wife, Jennifer, set up a gmail account two days before receiving his offer letter from TD Auto Finance saying he wanted to "transfer some emails from work to my [his] personal email without junking up your [her] email."
Dowd's wife set up the account, but appears to have questioned her husband's motive in a response.
"What is this all about?" she responded, according to a copy of Jennifer Dowd's e-mail attached as an exhibit in the case.
In the suit, Ally accuses Dowd of violating terms of his employment by sending himself "dealer franchise data, dealer risk ratings, dealer watch list designation and other customer information for Ally dealership accounts not assigned to him, including account numbers and names."
On Monday, Ally sent a letter to Dowd demanding that he stop "utilizing and/or disseminating this proprietary and confidential information."
In a statement, Ally said it is "prepared to take all steps necessary to protect its confidential and proprietary information, including legal action against any person who improperly appropriates, utilizes or disseminates Ally information in violation of the company's Code of Conduct and Ethics, or the law."
Efforts to reach Dowd for comment today were unsuccessful. He also could not be reached by The Detroit News.
Dowd worked for GMAC and Ally for more than 16 years and was promoted to risk officer in the Autos Finance Unit in 2008.
On Tuesday, Ally also filed a motion requesting a temporary restraining order that would bar Dowd from using, disclosing, destroying, transmitting or erasing Ally's proprietary information. A hearing on the request has been set for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2. in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
In the suit, Ally wants Dowd to immediately return all remaining copies of Ally's trade secrets and confidential information, and stop using any electronic files, e-mails or other digitally stored data he has acquired.
The suit also seeks to obtain unspecified damages, including attorneys' fees and costs.
An offer letter among the court filings showed that Dowd would make a base annual salary of $170,000 at TD Auto Finance after a $300,000 signing bonus, of which he would receive $100,000 immediately, The News also reported.