Judge says Nacchio must return for Denver hearing
By Andy Vuong
Joe Nacchio, currently serving time in Minersville, Pa., for
criminal insider trading, could soon make a public appearance in Denver — in prison clothes.
A federal judge Tuesday ordered the former Qwest chief
executive to appear at a hearing in
District Court in
to ensure that Nacchio's planned waiver of his right to attend
his resentencing is "voluntary and informed."
District Judge Marcia Krieger said she wants Nacchio to be
transported "at the earliest possible time," though a date for
the hearing has not been set.
Nacchio began serving a six-year prison term in April 2009.
In July, an appeals-court panel ordered a resentencing for
Nacchio because the trial judge erred during the initial
sentencing in 2007. The ruling means Nacchio's prison term could
Nacchio, 60, would likely return to
via the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System's
private aircraft — otherwise known as Con Air. He would be held
at a local detention center based on space availability, said
Dave Floyd, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals
Service. Floyd couldn't provide cost estimates.
Nacchio would probably be required to attend the hearing in
prison garb because he won't appear before a jury, said former
federal prosecutor Rick Kornfeld. Defendants in custody may
appear in civilian clothes if a jury is present.
Nacchio attorney Sean Berko witz didn't respond to requests
for comment Tuesday.
In March, Berkowitz indicated in a filing that Nacchio
planned to waive his right to appear at the resentencing. The
Justice Department objected, stating that Nacchio's presence
would help achieve some of the goals of sentencing, such as
Krieger said in Tuesday's order that Nacchio has the legal
right to waive his appearance, but the waiver "is not effective
unless it is both informed and voluntarily made."
Berkowitz has said Nacchio "is willing to execute whatever
document the court deems appropriate to reflect his knowing and
But Krieger cited several reasons for mandating Nacchio's
presence: He has changed attorneys since the initial sentencing.
He is currently incarcerated. And Krieger is overseeing the
resentencing and not the trial judge, Edward Nottingham, who
handed down the initial sentence but has since resigned.
Nacchio's resentencing has been split into two parts, with
the first phase scheduled for April 21. If arrangements can't be
made for Nacchio to attend a hearing before then, Krieger said
she will move the first phase of the resentencing to June 24.
The second phase — where Nacchio will receive his new sentence —
would occur sometime after that.
In April 2007, a jury in
found Nacchio guilty on 19 counts of illegal insider trading
connected to his sale of $52 million in Qwest stock in early
2001. In addition to the six-year prison term, he was ordered to
pay $71 million in fines and forfeitures. He was CEO of
Denver-based Qwest from 1997 to 2002.
Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209,