Appeals panel gives Nacchio second chance

Former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio will get a do-over. A three-judge federal appeals panel issued a 2-1 ruling that Nacchio should get a new trial over charges of insider trading because an expert witness was not allowed to testify on Nacchio's behalf during the first trial. There was no mention, however, of Nacchio's allegation that Qwest was denied significant federal government contracts because he declined to help the feds in their warrantless wiretapping program.

The appeals panel decision came almost 11 months to the day that Nacchio was first convicted on 19 counts of insider trading and three months after Nacchio's lawyers pleaded their case to the panel. Federal prosecutors now need to decide if they want to appeal the panel's ruling to the broader appeals court, or if they want to go ahead and re-try Nacchio. They could also just drop the charges, too.

For more:
- read this story at The New York Times
see this chronology of the Nacchio saga at The Denver Post

Related article:
- Cliff Stricklin, the lead federal prosecutor in the first Nacchio trial, has since joined a private sector law firm