The Association of U S West Retirees



Critics greet appellate court's decision with dismay and resignation
By James Paton
Rocky Mountain News
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mimi Hull wasn't surprised but was "extremely disappointed."

Mimi Hull was celebrating St. Patrick's Day and enjoying some corned beef Monday when a TV reporter phoned with news she had been dreading: An appeals court ordered a new trial for Joe Nacchio.

"I am extremely disappointed, but not surprised," Hull said.

The president of a group of company retirees attended the December hearing in which three judges heard Nacchio's appeal. They seemed to be "leaning in the direction" of overturning the conviction, Hull said.

"The writing was on the wall."

She noted that Nacchio's alleged insider trading occurred in 2001, and by the time another trial occurs, "it will be eight to 10 years later. That's a long time to wait for justice."

If a second trial takes place in New Jersey instead of Colorado, she said she may look up an ex-roommate who still lives in Manhattan and relocate temporarily so she can continue to stay invested in the case.

Doug Stoneman, a juror in the Nacchio trial, was driving from the Butterball plant in Longmont, where he is a supervisor, to his home 23 miles away in Milliken when he heard the news on the radio.

"It's kind of discouraging that they would want to do this all over again, when the decision in the first place was correct," he said. "I'm reasonably certain - you can never be totally certain - that they (a new group of jurors) will do the same thing we did."

The panel ruled 2-1 that U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham improperly excluded testimony from defense expert Daniel Fischel.

"I don't really believe there's anything else (Fischel) could have said that would have changed anything," Stoneman said.

He added: "I had confronted the possibility that they could overturn the whole thing, but I just thought they would have done a better job evaluating it. This was a very thoughtful decision delivered by the jury."

Hazel Floyd, a former U S West employee and former president of the Association of U S West retirees, said she was upset by the decision.

"I just wish this expert had been allowed to testify at the previous trial, then there wouldn't have been an excuse to retry this," she said. "I don't think the testimony would have made a difference." or 303-954-2544