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Enron Wants E-mails Back

Enron attorneys are asking a legislative committee investigating the state´s power crisis to return some e-mails turned over in response to a subpoena, saying they were covered under the attorney-client privilege.

Enron attorney Gary S. Fergus says the e-mails were accidentally included in the compact discs that contained thousands of documents copied for the Senate Select Committee to Investigate Price Manipulation of the Wholesale Energy Market.

But Senator Joe Dunn – who is leading the investigation – says he´s concerned that some of those e-mails indicate that there may have been possible destruction or concealment of electronic data.

He called a hearing for Tuesday to determine how to proceed. Enron agreed to waive attorney-client privilege and release e-mails, memos and other documents to the committee, but only through December 1st, 2001. Enron says the e-mails the company wants back were written after that date and weren´t covered by the agreement.

Before the mistake was realized, Dunn´s staff had reviewed some of the e-mails and was concerned that they indicated documents had been destroyed. The committee subpoenaed Enron´s documents more than a year ago. The committee also received 12 boxes of documents subpoenaed from Perot Systems Inc., the Texas-based company that helped design computer systems for California energy markets.

Dunn says Perot Systems later showed energy companies how to take advantage of the market´s “holes” to raise power costs.