Jeff Skilling has completed his first day answering questions from the defense in the fraud and conspiracy trial of Ken Lay and himself. Houston Public Radio’s Ed Mayberry reports. Aired 4/11/06 during the KUHF Morning Business News Report.
Enron’s former CEO admitted being nervous as he took the stand in his owndefense. He said the ex-employees he’s heard testify against him are notguilty of crimes, but are trying to play ball with the government.
Skilling said after the bankruptcy, he didn’t talk with Andy Fastow or otherEnron executives about covering up evidence or getting stories straight, nordid he try to move money offshore or destroy documents. He said he calledKen Lay and advised him to “open the kimono,” or get the facts out toexplain Enron’s story. Skilling said he wanted to come back to Enron toreassure the market, but the company declined, saying the chaos might getworse if the market perceived another “weird angle” in the story.
It was when an article on October 26th, 2001 said that Enron had drawn down$3 billion from its credit line that he said he knew all the creditors wouldbe trying to get into position. It then dawned on him how bad things were,that Enron had a liquidity problem. He said it caused him to drink heavilyand sink into a depression. He saw pictures of employees carrying boxes outof the Enron building, and he said it made him want to die. In retrospect,he felt that his leaving contributed to Enron’s troubles.
Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.
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