The Association of U S West Retirees



Still comfortable -- but out $1.5 million
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Saturday, March 10, 2007

Alan Henry said he lost $1.5 million because of the alleged misdeeds of Nacchio.  Henry, 76, himself a former chief executive, sold a good chunk of his 53,000 shares before Qwest stock hit rock-bottom, and he acknowledges the losses haven't devastated him.  He lives well, spending winter in Florida and summers in Maine.

But $1.5 million is a big loss -- "for an orphan kid," he said.

Henry was shuttled from relative to relative in New York after his mother died young and his father took off.  It's through the combination of "gutter" smarts and his business experience that he said he knows "something was awry" at Qwest.

"I know the game", Henry said.

Henry, who received U S West stock through a broadcast partnership, said he believes Nacchio was in on a scheme to prop up Qwest stock, initially so U S West couldn't exercise its right to terminate the 2000 merger.

"I ran a company with 17 divisions (Gulf Broadcast Group, which owned TV and radio stations in the Southeast and Southwest).  Let me tell you, I knew everything.  For him to sit there and say, "I didn't know what was going on,' he's smoking the drapes."

One of the first signs, Henry said, was when Nacchio slashed the U S West stockholder dividend.

Henry expressed similar opinions in a letter to the U S West board before the merger (and copied Nacchio), and in a letter last year to a federal judge, copied to two U.S. senators, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, and U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

He's not happy with any of the outcomes, even criticizing federal judge Robert Blackburn for approving a $400 million class-action settlement between Qwest and most of its investors.  Stockholders will recover only pennies on the dollar.

"To be fair, give people who got hurt a chance to recover," Henry said.  "We needed another $250 million and a piece of the new company (Qwest under CEO Dick Notebaert),",2777,DRMN_23910_5407937,00.html