The Enron Players

A humbling resignation and hearings in Congress for Andersen executives (with an audience cameo by The Sopranos' Lorraine Bracco) fueled last week's intrigue

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KENNETH LAY Former Enron chairman

Had he resigned only a few months earlier, Lay might have received a "golden parachute" in excess of $25 million. Instead, he departed in shame last week, and must defend himself from lawsuits and hostile questions during televised congressional hearings that start Feb. 4. Still, Lay, who helped found Enron in 1985 and became its CEO, has received about $200 million in salary, stock and other compensation from Enron since 1999. He enjoyed privileges rare even for top CEOs, such as the $7.5 million revolving credit line Enron extended him, which he reportedly used and repaid with Enron stock 15 times between last February and October. Lay will maintain his seat on Enron's Board of Directors, a perch from which, some say, he can keep an eye on the investigators probing the company.

JEFFREY SKILLING Former Enron CEO

A week after his surprise Aug. 14 resignation, the media and public, however skeptically, had digested Skilling's claim and his colleagues' swift corroboration that the CEO was leaving the company for personal reasons, after just six months on the job. Between January and August 2001, Skilling sold off about $20 million in Enron stock. He has tried to maintain a low profile--but last week's suicide by former Enron vice chairman Cliff Baxter brought reminders that, according to whistle-blower Sherron Watkins, Baxter had complained loudly to Skilling about Enron's shady bookkeeping.

DAVID DUNCAN Former Andersen partner

Duncan, who had overseen Andersen's Enron audit since 1997, was fired Jan. 15 for leading the document-shredding brigade--against company policy, according to official statements. His 15 minutes of fame, though, turned out to be less than five--that's the amount of time it took him to invoke the Fifth Amendment before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee last Thursday. That brief appearance opened the door for the two Andersen executives, C.E. Andrews and Dorsey Baskin Jr., who claimed that they found it "appalling" that he seemed to manage the shredding "in anticipation of a government request for documents." Duncan, a 20-year Andersen veteran, initiated a rapid document-destruction campaign on Oct. 23, they said, the day after the SEC's Enron probe became public, and it lasted until Nov. 9, when Andersen received a subpoena. Duncan told House investigators that he believes officials at Andersen's Chicago headquarters tacitly encouraged shredding as early as September.

NANCY TEMPLE Andersen lawyer

After Duncan declined to answer their questions, the members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce made quick work of Temple. Her now well-known Oct. 12 e-mail, first reported in TIME, routinely laid out the auditor's policy that explains when nonessential documents such as computer files and e-mail should be kept and when they may be destroyed. But Duncan and Andersen partner Michael Odom heard the message as a starter's pistol for what would become a 17-day document-shredding marathon. Some investigators felt they got a glimpse of Temple's state of mind in a document that emerged last week: Temple told Duncan to remove her name from a memo relating to Enron to decrease the chances she could be a witness, "which I prefer to avoid," she wrote on Oct. 16.

THOMAS WHITE Secretary of the Army

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