Justice Dept. Wants Independent Probe
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By Christopher Newton
Associated Press Writer
Monday, July 22, 2002; 2:00 PM
WASHINGTON –– The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to appoint an independent examiner in the WorldCom bankruptcy case, an agent who would be in charge of investigating the downfall of the company for mismanagement, irregularities and fraud.
The case was to be considered by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez.
The request, which was filed Monday by U.S. Trustee Carolyn Schwartz, would give the examiner subpoena power to investigate the company's transactions. WorldCom has agreed with the request from Schwartz, according to court documents.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said an independent examiner would improve public confidence.
"This action will provide transparency to the process and enhance accountability," he said. "In turn this should increase public confidence in the conduct of the case and help preserve value and protect the creditors and shareholders, including small creditors and those whose pension funds are invested in WorldCom.
© 2002 The Associated Press