What follows is a letter sent
to numerous people and organizations, including President Tilghman and
March 23, 2002
As time is of the essence, I write directly to you and copy a select group
of Princetonians, HBS faculty & friends to bring a national tragedy
to your attention and to solicit your help.
Specifically I ask, that after you review the correspondence which follows
this note, you help me find a means to share Andersen's side of the story
with the greater Princeton University and Harvard Business School communities:
alumni, students, faculty, and others, as you deem appropriate.
At stake, given the Department of Justice decision to criminally indict
Arthur Andersen LLP - a firm where I work as a partner, is not only the
future of the firm itself, the destruction of its reputation and the unwarranted
dislocation/job loss and resultant hardship for our 28,000 innocent American
employees and our more than 87,000 workers worldwide; but from a macro
perspective, the impact of this capricious action by the DOJ on the U.S.
economic system, the capital markets, and on the accounting industry.
Shirley, helping preserve our country's values of fairness and due-process,
and the very concept of "innocent until found guilty" would
seem to me to be part of Princeton University's mandate as encompassed
by its watchwords "Princeton in the nation's service".
I respectfully ask you to add your voice and the voice of your great institution
to our grassroots effort which is gaining national momentum. Please help
us draw attention to this travesty of justice and help us work to ensure
this type of thing never happens in our great country again. Help us give
back dignity to our people at Andersen as they begin to reconstruct their
lives. Help us restore some of the reputation which Arthur Andersen rightfully
Remember your recent laudatory article about Congressman
Jim Leach? Here's what historian Sean Wilenz has to say, from a slightly
longer perspective: "Fourth, consider the energy-derivative schemes
obscure financial arrangements so new that they escaped regulation
completely. In 1997, Clinton administration officials proposed more-exacting
disclosure of energy derivatives. But again, that would have been regulation;
and so Enron, with the help of congressional Republicans led by House
Financial Services Committee Chairman Jim Leach of Iowa, put a stop to
the reformist nonsense." (Sean Wilentz, "A Scandal for Our Time,"
American Prospect, v.13, n.4, February 25, 2002)