October 2, 2004
Letter from Curtis Kennedy
 Phelps v. Qwest Employee Benefits Committee

 

Nelson Phelps, President and Executive Director
ASSOCIATION OF U S WEST RETIREES
AUSWR Board Members
general membership

    You will recall efforts made throughout this year to get information from the Qwest Pension Plan administrators, so that retirees could better "police" what is really going on with the Qwest Pension Plan and the Qwest Health Care Plan.  We sought financial information, particularly, after discovering $67 million of your pension plan funds were invested in a "put option" in late 2001 and that full investment was lost a few months later.  Qwest has refused our requests to provide further explanation and the pension plan administrators (your fiduciaries) continue to refuse to turn over specific documents Nelson Phelps requested, information he intended to share with the entire AUSWR organization.

    Mr. Phelps was totally rebuked in his efforts to obtain:  1) the pension plan "investment policy guidelines";  and  2) the pension plan and health care plan "investment trust proxy voting policy."  We believe those requested documents should have been delivered to Mr. Phelps or his legal counsel and that Qwest deliberately refused to comply with ERISA document disclosure requirements.

    Today, we made a legal challenge under the federal law ERISA.  The attached Complaint was filed in Denver Federal Court, Phelps v. Qwest Employee Benefits Committee, Civil Action No. 04-B-2042 (OES).  The case is assigned to Chief Judge Babcock, the same federal judge handling the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case filed against the Department of Labor concerning the "investigation" about the Qwest Pension Plan.  The Phelps case has been assigned Magistrate Judge Edward Schlatter, who is also assigned to the FOIA case.

    In the pending Phelps case, we are asking the federal court to compel Qwest to produce the requested information and to pay a penalty of $110 per day for each day the requested documents have been withheld.  Already, the combined penalties exceed $40,000.00, and the amount continues to accrue each passing day.

    Curtis
  Curtis L. Kennedy
Attorney-at-law
8405 E. Princeton Ave.
Denver, CO  80237-1741
Tele: 303-770-0440
Fax:  303-843-0360
CurtisLKennedy@aol.com

 

Phelps v. Qwest ERISA complaint (18 pages)