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McDonald's calls ex-CEO "morally bankrupt" after shifting the chain's lawsuit in opposition to him to be dismissed

Steve Easterbrook, then Chief Executive Officer of McDonald & # 39; s Corp., speaks during the opening of the company's new headquarters in Chicago, Illinois on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Joshua Lott | Bloomberg | Getty Images

McDonald & # 39; s proposed former CEO Steve Easterbrook in a new lawsuit on Monday, arguing that he must defend his conduct in court.

More than two weeks ago, Easterbrook urged the Delaware court to dismiss the case filed by McDonald & # 39; s suing him for recovery of his severance package after discovering he was at McDonald & # 39; s sexual relations with three others Women had.

The board ousted Easterbrook in November and granted him a severance package valued at tens of millions of dollars after acknowledging an affair with an employee but refusing additional sexual relations. The separation agreement also contained some benefits for McDonald's, such as non-compete and non-degrading clauses, which Easterbrook's attorney pointed out in his motion to dismiss the case.

"Easterbrook's suggestion that McDonald & # 39; s got a good deal by getting rid of him despite his lies has no legal value," McDonald & # 39; s replied on the file.

When advocating a layoff, Easterbrook claimed McDonald's had the "new" information about his alleged relationships all along. Easterbrook allegedly deleted emails that contained evidence of these relationships on his phone, but they remained on the company's servers, McDonald & # 39; s said.

McDonald & # 39; s said in its filing that Easterbrook's argument was on "he cannot be held liable for not hiding his wrongdoing well enough on legal grounds".

Easterbrook's attorney did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

"When McDonald & # 39; s investigated, Steve Easterbrook lied. He violated the company's policies, disregarded its values, and abused the trust of its employees, board members, our franchisees and our shareholders," McDonald & # 39; s said in one Statement to CNBC. "His argument that he shouldn't even be blamed for repeated bad deeds is morally bankrupt and fails under the law."

In addition to Easterbrook's conduct, the board is also investigating the company's human resources department and leadership, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Heidi Capozzi, McDonald's Global People Officer since April and a former Boeing executive, told staff to report if they witness behavior that does not meet their guidelines, as reported recently by CNBC .

Capozzi told staff that her predecessor, David Fairhurst, reportedly engaged in repeated conduct at business events where female employees felt uncomfortable and were fired for cause due to an internal investigation. The details of the town hall were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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