Alliance Takes Florida Judge's Blast over Suit Documents

November 13, 2002 ( - A Florida judge lashed out against a New York investment firm accused of losing more than $300 million in Florida state pension money on investments in Enron.

A Tampa Tribune news story said Leon County (Florida) Circuit Judge Nikki Clark was annoyed by a request from Alliance Capital to seal more than 20,000 pages of documents turned over to attorneys for the state.

Alliance Capital argued that the open release of the documents, including magazine articles, could give away its secrets, the Tribune story said.

The Florida State Board of Administration is suing Alliance in the hope it can recoup at least some of that money lost in Enron’s eventual collapse.  Before the state fired  Alliance Capital in December , the firm purchased nearly 3 million Enron shares for the state’s pension fund at prices ranging from $22.82 to $9.02 as the stock sank.

The state sold its shares at $0.28 cents each, at a loss of nearly $335 million, a small percentage of the state’s $94 billion pension fund.

Although lawyers for both sides agreed to negotiate, the Tribune said a settlement over the documents’ release wasn’t likely since lawyers for the state were insisting that everything be deemed a public record.