Risk & Compliance

Enron Defense Rests

Closing arguments scheduled for May 15.
Stephen TaubMay 8, 2006

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“I’m sure on January 31, you thought this day would not arrive,” Judge Sim Lake told jurors Monday at the trial of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, reported the Houston Chronicle.

The 53-day trial has been adjourned until May 15, when closing arguments are scheduled to begin. Judge Lake cautioned jurors not to discuss the case or read media accounts of the trial during their break, the Chronicle also noted.

After the defense rested early Monday morning, prosecutors called several rebuttal witnesses.

Former Enron energy trader Mike Muckleroy told jurors Lay had lied under pressure, according to the Associated Press. “Under certain business exigencies, I have known Mr. Lay not to tell the truth,” Muckleroy reportedly testified.

Patti Kline, who worked for Enron-owned Portland Gas & Electric, testified that she believed Lay when he told her — upon taking over after CEO Jeff Skilling abruptly quit — that there was “no other shoe to drop,” according to the Chronicle. When problems began to emerge a short time later, she added, “I became very emotional, I became very upset.”

Kline also reportedly told jurors that she was not aware of Lay’s $70 million in stock sales. Asked by prosecutor Rob Atkins whether she would have wanted to know about the sales, she replied: “Yes, I would have wanted to know about that. I had been tracking his and other officers selling, and I never saw any selling like that . . .If you track it and you see a sudden big spike in sales, you want to know, because it could affect you personally.”