Proposal targets CEOs who knew of crimes
By Ivan Moreno
The Associated Press
Friday, March 21, 2008
A labor and activist coalition is pushing a November ballot
proposal that could allow
executives to be sued if they knew their company broke a law and
did nothing to stop it.
A business chamber said the measure could harm the state's
business climate and unleash baseless lawsuits.
Future, a coalition of labor and activist groups, argues that
under current state law top corporate officers aren't personally
accountable for their actions.
Larry Ellingson, a retiree of Qwest Communications International
Inc., who is behind the proposal, cited the case of former Qwest
chief executive Joe Nacchio, whose insider-trading conviction
was tossed out this week by a federal appeals court.
Federal prosecutors alleged Nacchio sold millions of dollars of
Qwest stock when he knew the company was at financial risk but
did not tell investors. Nacchio denied any wrongdoing.
"I want to know, where is the outrage?" Ellingson said.
Mark Grueskin, an attorney for Protect
Colorado's Future, said current laws
allow executives to be prosecuted only if they were involved in
alleged criminal actions.
The ballot initiative would allow people to sue executives who
knew about a crime within their company and didn't report it or
failed to stop it. Executives wouldn't necessarily need to
be part of the crime to be sued.
The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce said the proposal would
hurt Colorado's business