Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Friday, January 11, 2002


AUSTIN - "Since the extent of Enron's financial difficulties became apparent last year, I have been determined to make certain, in every way available to me as Attorney General, to enforce the law and to do what I could to protect the interests of Texas citizens and the State. Thousands of Texans have suffered in this business reversal, losing their jobs, their savings, and more. Countless additional citizens have seen the value of their investments eroded, either individually or through their interests in pension funds, mutual funds, and other assets. As Attorney General, it is my duty to lead the state's law enforcement efforts, and I take that responsibility with the utmost gravity. To meet this responsibility, I formed a task force of veteran state attorneys in my office to handle this matter.

"The federal government has primary authority in Enron investigations. Additionally, local district attorneys have jurisdiction over investigations into possible violations of state criminal law. The Attorney General's Office will continue to cooperate with local and federal investigators. The focus of the Texas Attorney General's office in these matters will be civil action to represent the interests of consumers and state agencies.

"As U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft expressed yesterday, it is imperative that the public maintain the utmost confidence in the integrity of any investigation. No matter how earnestly I want to fulfill the duties entrusted to me by the voters of Texas, I have decided to withdraw from participation in the Enron investigation. In accordance with state law, I am turning over full authority for the investigation and for cooperation with local and federal authorities to the First Assistant Attorney General, Howard Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin is a career government attorney and has served the state for more than 20 years, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. I am confident he will vigorously pursue all available opportunities to make certain that Texas' interests are protected as the Enron inquiry moves forward."

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