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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 prison.

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 hospitalizations.

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 three days.

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 risk.

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 conditions.

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

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/tech/article/0,2777,DRMN_23910_5651761,00.html