Nacchio awaiting word on prison
Ex-Qwest CEO's days of freedom down to weeks
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio isn't required to keep in contact
with authorities, but he has no passport either as he spends his
last few weeks of freedom before being imprisoned on
insider-trading charges. "He was released on a $2 million bond
(at the time he was indicted in December 2005) and there are no
reporting requirements," said Fred Bach, chief U.S. probation
officer in Colorado.
What happens now, Bach said, is that "we'll be in touch with
him" and his attorneys once a prison is designated. Nacchio
will be notified then that he has 15 days to report.
Nacchio, 58, was sentenced Friday to six years in federal
Under federal sentencing laws, he must serve 85 percent of his
sentence, or about five years and one month. He will be on
supervised release for two years after leaving prison.
Lead defense attorney Herbert Stern declined to comment Monday
on what Nacchio plans to do prior to reporting to prison.
It's assumed, however, that he will spend at least part of his
time with his oldest son, David, since Nacchio's plea for
leniency was based partly on his son needing his emotional
support. David has suffered emotional difficulties that
resulted in an attempted suicide in early 2001 and subsequent
Nacchio may have as little as a month of freedom left.
The sentencing documents are expected to be certified by the
court as soon as this week, and then will be electronically
transmitted by the probation office to the Federal Bureau of
Prisons, Bach said.
Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Felicia Ponce said last
week that the normal turnaround time to designate a prison is
Nacchio has requested a minimum-security federal prison camp in
central Pennsylvania called Schuykill, but the Bureau of Prisons
will make the final determination based on a variety of factors.
U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham noted at sentencing on
Friday that the government doesn't consider Nacchio a flight
Nottingham did say there was "some suggestion (from the
presentence investigation) that there is at least borderline
alcohol abuse which has taken place recently."
The judge said that raised the issue of whether the court should
order Nacchio to participate in an alcohol-abuse treatment
program once he's out of prison and on supervised release.
"I thought about that," Nottingham said. "And frankly, I think
anybody who is under the stress you're under and is going
through the things you're going through would start drinking."
Therefore, he said, the court wouldn't impose alcohol-treatment
Nottingham also indicated Nacchio has been seeing a doctor for
"mental health treatment."
What happens now
• Court certifies sentencing documents, likely as
early as this week.
• Probation office transmits sentencing documents
electronically to Federal Bureau of Prisons.
• Bureau of Prisons designates a prison. Normal
turnaround time to designate a prison is three days, Federal
Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Felicia Ponce said.
• Probation office contacts Nacchio's attorneys
once a prison is designated.
• Nacchio will be notified then that he has 15
days to report.
smithje@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-954-5155