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June 19, 2004
 
 
Nelson Phelps, President and Executive Director
ASSOCIATION OF U S WEST RETIREES
AUSWR Board Members and general members
 
 
Supposedly, for more than two (2) years, the Kansas City District office of the United States Department of Labor (DOL) has been conducting an "investigation" of the Qwest Pension Plan.  But, "investigation" is a loosely used word.  I suppose that if I ask you a question, any question, I am "investigating" you.
 
 
Nevertheless, there exists a lot of well deserved concern amongst the retiree group about the DOL's "investigation" of the Qwest Pension Plan concerning events during the Joseph Nacchio / Arthur Andersen regime.  Who knows what hanky panky, if any, occurred.  Remember the "friends and family" IPOs that immediately enriched certain officers?  Not to mention the KPNQwest and Qwest Digital Media debacles.  During the Joseph Nacchio / Arthur Andersen regime, the Qwest Pension Plan lost all of its cushion, all of the multibillions dollars surplus!  You have a right to know what went wrong.  Who is responsible?
 
 
There is a federal law called the "Freedom of Information Act" (FOIA).  You don't hear much about FOIA except when the news media organizations use the law to sue federal government agencies to force them to reveal information so as to check on deceptions, lies, and "half-truths" about what is going on with our federal government.  FOIA is a means to cause a federal government agency to reveal its records and, therefore, is an indirect means for citizenry to cause the government to be honest and fulfill its duties.
 
 
We have a case in point.  AUSWR tried unsuccessfully to get the DOL to tell us what, if anything, is going on with the over 2 year old "investigation" of the Qwest Pension Plan.  We asked the Kansas City office of the DOL to produce its records.  We were totally rebuked.  There was a blanket refusal by the Kansas City office of the DOL to tell us anything, and that is not countenanced by FOIA.  We timely appealed to the Solicitor of Labor who had twenty days to respond to our appeal.  Nothing happened and the Solicitor is already 70 days past the FOIA deadline! That is an example of our federal government diligently at work.
 
 
Therefore, yesterday (Friday - June 18) I filed a FOIA based lawsuit against the United States Department of Labor.  The case is led by Mary "Mimi" Hull, your future AUSWR President.  The U.S. Attorney's office was served with the Complaint.  The case has been assigned to Chief Judge Babcock of the Denver Federal Court.  The DOL has 30 days to file a response.
 
 
I have attached hereto in Adobe PDF file format your copy of the "Complaint under Freedom of Information Act."  The eleven (11) page document should prove to be easy reading.  The deputy clerks in the Denver Federal Court Clerk's office commented to me yesterday that they have never seen an individual pursue a case under FOIA against a federal government agency, only news organizations with the necessary know-how and resources.  Obviously, your AUSWR organization is working hard for you.
 
 
Please stay involved and support AUSWR.  We will keep you informed of all developments in this case and other matters that are pending.
 
 
Curtis
CurtisLKennedy@aol.com
303-770-0440
 
 
 

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