January 30, 2002
Johnnie Cochran Representing Enron Workers
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Johnnie Cochran, the lawyer who became famous for his defense of O.J. Simpson, has been retained to represent laid off Enron Corp. workers.
The announcement was made by the group that hired Cochran, Houston-area representatives of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network.
Meanwhile, attorney general of Texas has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, asking that a committee representing former and retired Enron workers be appointed in the case.
"While the major financial creditors of Enron have a right to adequate representation in the bankruptcy case, so do the thousands of former and retired Enron employees who are the least able, on an individual basis, to participate meaningfully in this case," said Deputy Attorney General Jeff Boyd.
The Associated Press quoted the Rev. James Dixon, a regional chairman of Sharpton's New York-based organization, as saying that Cochran was set to come to Houston in the next few days to meet with former Enron workers and discuss their legal options.
"We're proud to have Mr. Cochran join this team," said Dixon, senior pastor at the Community of Faith church in Houston. "The goal is to have every legal avenue for these employees exhausted so they are restored."
The AP said Dixon would not comment on how many former Enron workers will meet with Cochran. But the organization expects a class-action lawsuit will be filed, he said.
Sonia Garcia, who worked at Enron for six years before being laid off Dec. 3 with 4,500 other workers, said she was thankful Cochran would be helping.
"I just want everyone to know we need financial assistance," she told the AP.
Cochran, Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are known for their work in race relations. But Dixon said helping the laid-off workers has nothing to do with race.
"It has nothing to do with ethnicity," he said. "It has to do with economics. Dollars are green, not black, white or brown."