PracticeAccounting FirmsDuncan to keep quiet at hearing

Duncan to keep quiet at hearing

Ex-Andersen auditor David Duncan is planning to attend but not speak at a Congressional hearing focused on the shredding of Enron-related documents in Washington today.

It is understood that Andersen CEO Joseph Berardino will not attend. Last night Enron CEO Ken Lay resigned on the request of the bankrupt company’s creditors.

Although Berardino was subpoenaed along with Duncan, his name is no longer on the committee’s witness list. According to reports Berardino negotiated to have another Andersen official take his place. Last night the committee was expecting Dorsey Baskins Jr, the managing director of Andersen’s professional standards group, instead.

Duncan, who was fired by Andersen after it was revealed that he ordered the destruction of important documents relating to the bankrupt energy company, will appear before the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee along with three Andersen executives today.

While the subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee was able to force Duncan to attend the hearing by sending him a subpoena it cannot force him to talk if he claims his right to protect himself under the Fifth Amendment.

Andersen lawyer Nancy Temple, who sent the now controversial email reminding employees of the firm’s document destruction and retention policy, will also appear at the hearing. Michael Odom, an Andersen audit partner, who allegedly forwarded Temple’s email to Duncan, is also part of the line-up.

In a statement Lay, who will remain on the board of Enron, said he could not effectively run the business with the distraction of so many inquiries and investigations.

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