In arguably one of the all-time great sidesteps from blame, former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling once inferred that the spectacular collapse of the energy trader was really not his fault because he’s “not an accountant.”
That was the pathetic response/apology that thousands of soon-to-be-former Enron employees had to be satisfied with, despite many of them losing their life savings in that massive boardroom and auditing boondoggle.
With former Enron chief financial officer Andrew Fastow facing the prospect of celebrating his golden years in an orange jumpsuit, many of those ruined in the company’s implosion are hoping that the former CEO gets to share a cell with someone who forcibly encourages him to don a blonde wig and answer to the name of “Desiree.”
But back to the matter at hand.
Apparently Mr. Skilling’s pedigree doesn’t stop at a feigned lack of accounting skills.
As it turns out, he’s not much of a party animal either.
Under indictment for his alleged role in the Enron debacle and allowed to walk free courtesy of a $5 million bail bond, Skilling was seen roaming the watering holes of New York’s tony Upper East Side in what could be labeled your basic pub crawl.
Not content to bask in what will doubtless be fleeting freedom, Skilling allegedly began accusing customers and even passersby at several of his itinerant stops of being FBI agents. And at one point he allegedly began an impromptu process of frisking several folks in hopes of revealing hidden microphone wires.
Well, even in the frenetic and often bizarre culture of early morning New York, that was enough. A couple of 911 calls later and the local constabulary was soon helping escort him to New York Presbyterian Hospital for observation, where he was released roughly six hours later.
A NYPD spokesman described Skilling as “acting erratically.”
Skilling’s lawyer later released a statement, which in effect, said, "This is an outrageous example of how pretrial prejudice generated by the government and others have put Mr. Skilling and his family in danger."
Uh, excuse me?
First, he wasn’t charged with anything.
Second, the only danger Skilling found himself in that night was the possibility of trying to frisk someone who wasn’t exactly crazy about the idea — i.e. a burly tattooed biker, or a vacationing Bible Belter sporting a new shirt and pants combination from Wal-mart.
I shudder to think of what shortcoming — accounting or otherwise — Skilling will attribute this episode to.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access