graphic
graphic  
graphic
News  
graphic
Baxter note doesn't mention Enron
Suicide note from ex-Enron executive mentions loss of pride, no reference to bankrupt company.
April 11, 2002: 5:51 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Former Enron Corp. Vice Chairman J. Clifford Baxter made no mention of the energy company's collapse in a note left behind at his apparent suicide, but expressed remorse with his action.

Baxter, 43, was found dead in January of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

graphic
graphic graphic
graphic
The note and other documents were briefly released to the public Thursday, after the Texas Attorney General's office said they were not confidential under the state's law. A few hours later, a judge in the Travis County District Court issued a temporary restraining order, halting the further release of the documents.

Prior to the Attorney General's ruling, the family of Cliff Baxter had tried to stop the distribution of the documents, which include the note, a picture of Baxter's driver's license, and police photos taken of Baxter at the scene, along with pictures of the vehicle, an autopsy report and an incident report.

Police discovered Baxter's body on Jan. 25 inside a vehicle parked between two medians on a highway. The suicide note was also found at the scene, police said at the time.

Baxter was a former executive of Enron Corp., the energy trader that filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history on December 2. Baxter resigned as vice chairman of Enron North America in May 2001, exactly seven months before the bankruptcy.

The note, addressed to Baxter's wife Carol, says: "I am so sorry for this. I feel I just can't go on. I have always tried to do the right thing but where there was once great pride now it's gone. I love you and the children so much. I just can't be any good to you or myself. The pain is overwhelming. Please try to forgive me."

It was then signed "Cliff."

Enron, once one of the largest companies in the United States, allegedly used thousands of special-purpose partnerships to hide nearly $1 billion in debt and inflate profits. Since the December bankruptcy, several Enron executives have testified before Congress, including former CEOs Jeff Skilling and Kenneth Lay.

At the time of Baxter's death, congressional investigators wanted to interview him but he was not the specific target of a probe, a congressional source said.

The injunction

After authorities released the note early Thursday, Baxter's family did manage to stop the dissemination of the other documents. District Court Judge Lora Livingston issued a temporary restraining order at 12:50 p.m. CT (1:50 p.m. ET) Thursday preventing the further distribution of other information in the Baxter case.

A hearing to decide on the release of the documents is scheduled for April 25.

The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled Baxter's death a suicide. But the police investigation into his death is still ongoing, more than three months after the executive's death.

"It is still a death investigation," said Pat Whitty, a spokeswoman for the Sugar Land police department.

The police are expected to close their investigation next week and are still awaiting results from a few tests, such as DNA and ballistic information.

Baxter was named in a August 2001 letter to Enron CEO Ken Lay from whistleblower executive Sherron Watkins. The Watkins letter was one of the first indications of accounting problems at Enron.

"Cliff Baxter complained mightily to [former Enron CEO Jeffrey] Skilling and all who would listen about the inappropriateness of our transactions with LJM," Watkins wrote.  Top of page






graphic

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.