FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2006
ENRON PROSECUTOR CLIFF STRICKLIN NAMED
FIRST ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
STRICKLIN TO LEAD PROSECUTION TEAM IN THE
UNITED STATES v JOSEPH NACCHIO
DENVER, CO – Troy A. Eid, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, announced today that he has appointed Cliff Stricklin to serve as First Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. In addition to his duties as First Assistant, United States Attorney Troy Eid has named Stricklin to be the lead prosecutor in the case of the United States v. Joseph Nacchio. Stricklin, an experienced federal prosecutor and former judge, most recently served on the Enron Task Force where he was one of four attorneys to present evidence in the trial against former Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. He was also the co-lead prosecutor in the securities and accounting fraud case against five executives from Enron’s Broadband division.
Prior to joining the Enron Task Force, Stricklin was a state district judge in Dallas, Texas, where for four years he presided over felony criminal cases ranging from fraud and narcotic crimes to capital murder cases. Each of his cases that were appealed has been a affirmed at the appellate level. In 2002, his fellow district court judges elected Stricklin to the position of Presiding Judge, a position he held until returning to the Department of Justice.
Stricklin was selected after Eid conducted a nation-wide search to identify his number two prosecutor for the District of Colorado. Eid wanted to find an experienced trial attorney to lead the team prosecuting Joseph Nacchio. He also wanted someone with broad prosecutorial and judicial experience. “I have full confidence in Cliff Stricklin,” U.S. Attorney Eid said. “Cliff’s extraordinary background, including his work on the Enron Task Force, makes him the ideal leader to handle the Joseph Nacchio case while serving Colorado as First Assistant U.S. Attorney.”
U.S. Attorney Eid also announced that Stricklin’s prosecution trial team will include Corporate Fraud Trial Attorneys Colleen Conry and Leo Wise from the Department of Justice in Washington, and Assistant United States Attorney James Hearty in Colorado.
“The criminal investigation and subsequent prosecution has been a partnership between the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado and the Department of Justice Corporate Fraud Section since its inception. These four experienced federal prosecutors will make a great team as the government prepares for trial,” Eid said.
U.S. Attorney Eid also praised Bill Leone’s leadership on the Qwest investigation. “Thanks to Bill and his team, the Nacchio case is in great shape.”
Prior to being a state judge, Cliff Stricklin spent eight years working as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Eastern District of Texas. He started with the office right out of law school and was immediately thrust into the courtroom trying drug cases. He later moved to general crimes, eventually graduating to complex public corruption and white collar cases.
He has received the Texas Department of Public Safety’s highest civilian award given for his service to law enforcement as well as honorary awards from the FBI, the U.S. Customs Service and IBM, Inc. An enthusiastic teacher, Stricklin has shared his experience in the courtroom with other lawyers and students as an instructor at the Justice Department’s National Advocacy Center and the Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute as well as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University’s School of Law.
Stricklin is a graduate of Washington & Lee School of Law and Baylor University. In addition to his other experience, Cliff has served as an intelligence analyst with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, DC, as a Special Assistant to the Administrator at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, also in Washington, as a law clerk hired by Rudolph Guiliani in the Securities Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and as a senior attorney with the national law firm of Andrews & Kurth, LLP, in Dallas.