Austin, Texas (Aug. 19, 2002) -- The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy voted unanimously Friday to revoke Arthur Andersen's license to practice in the Lone Star state due to the firm's role in the collapse of bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp.The move was the culmination of an investigation of Andersen by the board that started nine months ago and resulted in charges filed with the State Office of Administrative Hearings in May, according to executive director William Treacy. The charges sought the revocation of the firm's accounting license, as well as fines and penalties following the Chicago-based accounting firm's conviction on obstruction of justice charges in the federal investigation of Enron's financial collapse. Andersen was fined $1,000, the maximum allowable under law, Treacy said.

"This is the first time in history of the profession that a national firm's license has been revoked. It's a very sad day for everyone," said Treacy. "We believe this action is in the public interest and we believe that Andersen's actions especially in the Enron matter warranted this result."

"The board takes pride in showing that the state based regulatory system does work," added K. Michael Conaway, presiding officer. "This is, in effect, a death penalty. This shows how the system is supposed to work and it worked expeditiously and within the rules of due process. As we voted this morning, it was cloudy here in Austin, and I said I think it's reflective of the somber mood surrounding this issue. But the sun will come out and the profession be better as a result."

-- Melissa Klein

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