Enron Mail

Subject:Lockyer Fires Earthy Attack at Energy Exec
Date:Wed, 23 May 2001 05:52:05 -0700 (PDT)

FYI - Strong and colorful words from a powerful man.
Given Lockyer's abilities, position and and ambition, I would advise build=
ing bridges and mending fences while this is still at the taunting stage. =
He wants your attention. Knowing him, I'd say that a direct and friendly=
call from you or Ken today, followed by a meeting would go a long way.
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=09[IMAGE]=09[IMAGE] Wednesday, May 23, 2001 | [IMAGE]Print this story [I=
MAGE] Lockyer Fires Earthy Attack at Energy Exec By JENIFER WARREN, Ti=
mes Staff Writer SACRAMENTO--In a dramatic escalation of energy cr=
isis rhetoric, California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer this week suggested the =
chairman of a Houston-based power company should be locked in a prison cel=
l with an amorous, tattooed inmate named Spike. Lockyer, who is inve=
stigating whether energy firms have manipulated prices on the wholesale el=
ectricity market, made the comment in an interview with the Wall Street Jo=
urnal that appeared Tuesday. "I would love to personally escort [En=
ron Corp. Chairman Kenneth] Lay to an 8-by-10 cell that he could share wit=
h a tattooed dude who says, 'Hi my name is Spike, honey,' " Lockyer said. =
Enron spokesman Mark Palmer called the comment "counterproductive rh=
etoric" that "does not merit a response." But other industry repres=
entatives denounced the remark as "outrageous," especially because neither=
Lockyer's office nor any investigative panel has filed charges against En=
ron or other companies. "You'd expect that the state's chief legal c=
ounsel would file charges first and make public statements second," said G=
ary Ackerman of the Western Power Trading Forum, an association of energy =
producers and traders. "We're very disappointed with his choice of words, =
which don't exactly fit the profile of his office." In an interview =
Tuesday, Lockyer said he decided to "ratchet up" the commentary to "put [e=
nergy companies] on notice" that "we are not afraid of them and have the w=
ill to prosecute." "What I'm trying to do is let these economic buc=
caneers understand that if we catch them, they're going to be prosecuted,"=
Lockyer said. "Just because they're multimillionaires and run big corpora=
tions, it doesn't provide them with immunity." The attorney general =
is investigating whether power company officials tried to maximize profits=
through illegal manipulation of prices on the wholesale energy market. S=
everal panels, including a state Senate committee and the California Publi=
c Utilities Commission, are conducting similar probes. On Tuesday, L=
ockyer announced that three power companies have agreed to turn over docum=
ents subpoenaed months ago by his investigators. The attorney general went=
to court to obtain the documents after the companies failed to meet a Mar=
ch 19 deadline to hand them over. Lockyer said the forthcoming docu=
ments would help his office as it sifts through mountains of evidence in s=
earch of possible violations of antitrust or unfair business practice laws=
. "Evidence is accumulating that certainly infers illegal activity,"=
Lockyer said. "But we need to make sure it's compelling and clear enough =
that you can convince a jury." Lockyer said he singled out Enron's =
chairman because the Houston company is the world's largest energy trader. =
At least one observer found Lockyer's comments refreshingly candid.=
Harry Snyder, a senior advocate of Consumers Union, said, "Let Lockyer be=
Lockyer." * * * Times staff writer Dan Morain contributed to this s=
tory. Search the archives of the Los Angeles Times for similar stories =
about: Bill Lockyer , Enron Corp , Kenneth L Lay , Utilitiy Rates , En=
ergy - California , Utilities - California , Electricity . You will not =
be charged to look for stories, only to retrieve one. =09
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