Enron Trial: Jeff Skilling Next to Testify

The jury is hearing testimony from Enron's former general cousel. Then Jeff Skilling will take the stand in the fraud and conspiracy trial he's sharing with Enron founder Ken Lay. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry has a report. Aired 4/6/06 during the KUHF Morning Business Report.

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Former Enron general counsel John Derrick testified that he hired Houston law firm Vinson & Elkins to investigate the Raptor side deals with Andy Fastow's LJM partnerships. Ken Lay ordered the investigation after the famous Sherron Watkins memo that raised concerns about accounting fraud. Watkins didn't want the company's usual lawyers or accountants to investigate because they were being paid hefty fees by Enron.

Earlier, Vinson & Elkins attorney Max Hendrick, who conducted the probe, said Enron executives told him they were unaware of agreements guaranteeing Fastow would not lost money in deals between Enron and the LJM partnerships. But he conceded that memos and e-mails were not reviewed and there were no requests for documents. And not all top executives were interviewed. Hendrick said he did not talk with, for example, Jeff Skilling or former treasurer Ben Glisan, Jr.

John Derrick returns for more questions this morning, and then the defense will call Jeff Skilling. The former CEO is expected to remain on the stand through next week.

Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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