LANSING- Today Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer disclosed GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos' questionable business ties with Enron. While DeVos was president of Amway, the company collaborated with Enron during the California energy crisis by selling Enron electricity door to door. Enron's illegal conduct has returned to the public eye, as jury selection begins today in the civil suit involving Enron founder Ken Lay and CEO Jeff Skilling for allegedly lying about their company's health while selling half a billion dollars of their own stock.
"As the Enron trial begins, it is important to examine Dick DeVos' and Amway's questionable ties to Enron during California's energy crisis," said Brewer. "DeVos must explain to the people of Michigan his dealings with Enron and prove that he and Amway did not profit from Enron's illegal manipulations of electricity sales in California."
Enron started manipulating California's electricity market a month after it was deregulated in 1998, according to internal documents and phone transcripts, reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. Enron's manipulation of California markets coincided with Amway's 140,000 California distributors peddling "Electricity by Enron" on doorsteps throughout the state. Amway took a percentage of the profit for each sale they made on behalf of Enron. Enron profited at least $1.6 billion during California's energy crisis by exploiting the state's deregulation plan. Last summer Enron agreed to a $1.52 billion settlement over its role in California's energy crisis.
"DeVos' ties to Enron and Ken Lay are just the latest example of Dick DeVos' questionable business ethics," said Brewer. "Is there any business scheme that DeVos will say 'no' to?" asked Brewer. "He made a profit on the backs of the Michigan workers he laid off and he collaborated with Enron during its rip-off of California consumers. Has Dick DeVos no shame?
Click here to read a report from the San Francisco Chronicle and other articles relating to Enron and Amway.