The Association of U S West Retirees



Nacchio team makes case to toss suit
By Andy Vuong
Denver Post
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A civil fraud lawsuit pending against former Qwest Chief Joe Nacchio should be tossed if a federal judge allows the government to invoke its state-secrets privilege, his attorneys wrote in a filing Monday.

"The classified information which the government seeks to suppress permeates the government's allegations against Mr. Nacchio, making it impossible for him to mount a defense," Nacchio's attorneys said.

Other defendants in the case --- former Qwest president Afshin Mohebbi, former chief financial officer Robert Woodruff and former accountants James Kozlowski and Frank Noyes --- have made similar filings.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed the lawsuit, said in a filing Monday that it will dispute the "defendants' sweeping assertions" that the case must be dismissed if the court allows the government to cloak what it considers to be state secrets.

The Bush administration asserted the privilege in November, arguing that disclosure of certain information could cause damage to the National defense of the United States.

The SEC alleges in its suit that Nacchio and his former subordinates fraudulently booked $3 billion in revenue from 1999 to 2002.