Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ken Lay: "You should not be a slave to the rules."

Kathryn Ruemmler delivered the prosecution's closing statement in the Enron trial. As the Houston Chronicle reports, one message remained constant throughout her four hour presentation:
One government slide quoted one of Lay's own statements in court, which the prosecutor also had mounted on a poster board that stayed up the entire four hours. It was what Lay said about ignoring the company code of ethics when he made a small personal investment with a company that did Enron work.
"Rules are important — but they should not — you should not be a slave to the rules either," Lay was quoted on the screen and ever-present board.
Ken Lay's comment came when he was asked about his investment in a company that did business with Enron, which was contrary to the company's (rather porous) ethics policy and probably should have been disclosed in the company's SEC filings. Lay's $160,000 investment is small potatoes compared to his secretly selling $70 million of shares when he was telling people he was a net buyer of company stock, but the message to the jury is that this is a man who avoids playing by the rules when it suits his purpose.
Lawyers for Skilling and Lay will make their closing arguments today.

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