The Association of U S West Retirees



A good hair day for defense
By Al Lewis, Staff Columnist
Denver Post
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

(Note:  As much as I admire Al Lewis' writing skills, I am only using excerpts from his column today.  He writes glowingly about Anne Esker, Joe Nacchio's wife and her ability to cut hair, specifically that of Nacchio's attorney Herbert Stern and that of Jeffrey Speiser.  Al was "out to lunch" with this one!  Use the URL code shown below if you want to read the entire article.  PK)

Mohebbi got more stock options at Qwest than anyone besides Nacchio, but he never sold one.

He did quite a bit of damage to Nacchio on Monday, testifying that he'd warned his boss that Qwest's business-unit heads were not making the numbers touted to Wall Street.  ..... Mohebbi is a very meek man.  He apparently would not confront Nacchio face to face when they disagreed.

"I felt much more comfortable writing, expressing myself in words," Mohebbi told the court.

Unfortunately, Nacchio did not use e-mail.  So Mohebbi, who commanded some of the most advanced telecommunications networks on the planet, was reduced to writing memos.

"I placed it on his chair," Mohebbi said of more than one memo.

This wasn't e-mail.  It was c-mail -- and the chair belonging to Nacchio held a full queue.

Mohebbi also told the court that Qwest put words in his mouth when it issued statements to regulators in mid-March 2001.  A Form 8K, current report, dated March 15, 2001, for example, says this of Mohebbi:  "Based on his review of Qwest results for January and February 2001, he was comfortable with previously announced guidance for 2001."

Mohebbi testified that he did not say this and was not comfortagle with the projections Qwest gave to Wall Street.  His cross-examination, delivered by .... Herbert Stern, continues today.

All in all, Monday was a good day for prosecutors.  But even under fire, Nacchio did not lose his sense of humor with me.

"It's really scary waking up in the morning and the first thing I see on the TV is you," he told me Monday morning, having seen my 6:40 a.m. discussion of his case on 9News.

Later, I was talking to Nacchio's son Michael, and I asked if he was able to have any fun in Denver during the trial.

Like his mother, Michael is dutifully by his father's side every day.  But he did say he found time to see friends and enjoy some of the city's sights.

"I'm having a blast," he said, within earshot of his father.

"Don't say you are having a blast," Nacchio smiled.  "This is my trial."

Al Lewis' column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.  Respond to Lewis at, 303-954-1967 or