Enron Trial: Ken Lay Denies Breaking Law

Enron founder Ken Lay is telling his side of the Enron story. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry reports. Aired 4/25/06 during the KUHF Morning Business Report.

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Ken Lay called the collapse of Enron devastating, comparing it to the loss of a loved one.

Lay denied breaking the law in the 15 years that he was CEO of Enron. He firmly denied taking part in a conspiracy with former Enron executive Jeff Skilling to violate federal securities rules or break federal wire fraud laws.

Lay said he's always been a believer in hiring the best talent and giving people "room to run." He told jurors that he believed a decentralized approach of giving lieutenants responsibility was the best way to run a company. At several points Lay's testimony demonstrated how inside and outside accountants, lawyers and other professionals signed off on filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When questioned about taking family members on the corporate jet when he conducted business overseas, Lay said he--not Enron--paid for all of their bills.

Lay has been answering questions from defense attorney George Secrest, who is pinch-hitting for lead defense attorney Mike Ramsey. Ramsey continues recuperating from carotid artery surgery.

Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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