Nacchio makes court appearance
By Andy Vuong
May 04, 2010
Former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio sported a shaved head, goatee, black-framed glasses and a khaki prison jumpsuit for a hearing today in which he was granted a waiver from attending his resentencing in June.
Nacchio, who is serving a six-year prison term in
He entered the courtroom with his hands cuffed behind his back. After the cuffs were removed, he promptly visited with his attorney.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger had previously acknowledged 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."
After asking a series of questions and hearing a five-minute speech from Nacchio, Krieger granted his waiver.
"Mr. Nacchio is fully competent to waive his right to attend his resentencing," Krieger said.
Nacchio, who reported to prison in April 2009, appeared trimmer. During his speech, Nacchio spoke highly of his fellow inmates, stating that some of them are finer than the people he used to work with.
"That's my world now," said Nacchio, 60.
He broke down when he mentioned that his ill, 92-year-old mother has recently been taken in and out of the hospital.
Nacchio's speech was his first public remarks in years. He 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.
Nacchio 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.
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.