Acting on the recommendation of a federal magistrate judge, the Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing its civil fraud case against former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio, and may decide either to drop the case or pursue a different track. Much of the SEC's civil case hangs on Nacchio's allegation that Qwest was in position to earn major federal government contracts, but that those contracts were pulled away when the company refused to participate in warrantless wiretapping. The judge recommended the review because any information related to those allegation has already been declared "state secrets," and would thus be inadmissible in court.
Meanwhile, Cliff Stricklin, the assistant state attorney who successfully prosecuted Nacchio in his criminal case (in which Nacchio's allegations against the feds were not allowed) just joined Denver's largest private law firm. The criminal case is still pending an appeal.
- Appeals judges heard the Nacchio appeal bid almost two months ago