Personally, I'd like to see Lay, Fastow, Kopper, and their cronies stripped naked, covered with honey, and dropped on a fire ant bed. I can't imagine how the former Enron junta can look at themselves in the mirror each morning, but then I'd like to think I have something resembling a conscience. The sad aspect of this tragedy is the human toll it has taken on everyday workers, people who in many cases believed in Enron and worked hard to make it the best it could be. Sorry, guys; don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out....
Bill Peterson, laid off by Enron about a week after he underwent cancer surgery, died of melanoma Sunday at his sister-in-law's home in Henderson, where he was living. He was 56.
Peterson's wife, Cathy, said he was laid off Dec. 3, the day Enron declared bankruptcy, despite her pleadings with Enron human resources personnel....
Peterson's wife stayed home to nurse him after he was diagnosed with melanoma in July 2001. After the layoff, Peterson, an information systems analyst, had trouble obtaining COBRA health insurance because so many laid-off Enron workers were seeking it, Cathy Peterson said.
Even when it kicked in, the COBRA insurance cost more than $400 a month, and Peterson was also paying a hefty premium on life insurance, which he wanted to maintain because he knew he was dying, his widow said.
They sold their car and home in Friendswood and moved in with his sister-in-law and her husband to help make ends meet, she said.
Cathy Peterson said she asked whether he could avoid being laid off while battling cancer, and Enron human resource officials told her that his unit was being disbanded.
"They said they couldn't differentiate for him, that he was just one of a bunch," she said.
Enron spokesman Mark Palmer said human resource employees have been working with Peterson's family since the layoff to try to provide needed services and benefits. After the company learned of his death, Palmer said, a human resource employee met with relatives to explain how they can obtain benefits owed them.
"Bill's situation was tragic and regrettable," Palmer said....
No, tragic and regrettable would be getting laid off under any circumstances. What happened to Peterson was unconscionable. Responsibility for this tragedy can and should be laid directly at the feet of those amoral greedheads who were too busy looting Enron to consider the fate of the people who worked for them.
I'm not saying that Enron is completely responsible for Peterson's illness and untimely death. Much of the responsbility can and should be laid on the health insurance companies. Still, if not for the looting of Enron by those at the top, there is every possibility that Peterson and his family could have been cared for without having to sell everything they own.
May Ken Lay and his cronies rot in the Hell they so richly deserve.