The Association of U S West Retirees



Former Qwest CEO Nacchio back in Denver courtroom today


By Andy Vuong
The Denver Post

May 04, 2010

A year into a six-year prison term for criminal insider trading, former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio is scheduled to appear in custody at a hearing today in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Nacchio's plan to skip his resentencing in June will be reviewed during the hearing, which could lead to his first public remarks in years.

Nacchio, who is serving time at a prison camp in Pennsylvania, didn't take the stand during trial at the same courthouse in spring 2007. He declined the opportunity to address the judge at the initial sentencing that July his last public appearance. He made a last-ditch attempt to speak at the end of that hearing, but was rebuffed.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger acknowledges that Nacchio has the right to waive his appearance at his resentencing, but said the waiver is only valid if it is "voluntary and informed."

Krieger said Nacchio's physical presence is required for her to make that determination. She cited several reasons, including the fact that he didn't waive his appearance at the initial sentencing and has changed attorneys since then.

Nacchio, 60, is expected to appear in handcuffs and prison garb.

He was convicted in April 2007 on 19 counts of illegal insider trading connected to his sale of $52 million in Qwest stock. Prosecutors said he dumped the shares based on private warnings that the Denver-based company's financial condition was deteriorating.

In addition to the prison term, he was ordered to forfeit the $52 million and pay $19 million in fines.

In July 2007, an appeals court panel granted Nacchio a resentencing, ruling that the trial judge, Edward Nottingham, erred when he issued the initial sentence. The order means Nacchio's sentence could be shortened and his forfeiture could be reduced.

Nottingham has since resigned.

The resentencing is scheduled to start June 22 with an evidentiary hearing where expert witnesses from both sides will testify. The new sentence will be handed down June 24.

Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209, or