Friday, November 14, 2008

"Wish List" for Obama and AG

The White Collar Crime Blog features a "Wish List to President Barack Obama & The Next AG." The list - which is interesting reading - does not give much attention to the pardon power per se. But we did notice this suggestion for President-elect Obama, near the very end:
* Commute Jamie Olis' sentence.
Who is Jamie Olis? Olis is a former executive at Dynegy who is serving a six-year prison term. The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog recently summarized his story as follows:
In Olis’s case, the midlevel energy trader was indicted in 2003 on charges that he helped engineer a sham financial transaction. Dynegy stopped paying his legal fees after it was pressed by the government to cut Olis off. In May, a Texas jury ruled that Dynegy improperly cut him off in a bid to avoid a criminal indictment of the energy company. The jury ordered Dynegy to pay Olis’s attorney Terry Yates, who brought the case, $2.5 million in damages. The company plans to appeal.

For Olis, 41 years old, the decision was a hollow victory. His original sentence of 24 years, which became a lightning-rod on the issue of white-collar prison sentences, was overturned on appeal and then reduced to six years. His lawyers won’t say who paid for the appeal, which was led by high-profile Houston white-collar attorney David Gerger, but one expert witness told the WSJ he testified at no charge. Olis remains in prison.

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