They're the guys who transcribed and publicized the "Enron tapes."
I found a nice AP story that looks into PUD's research"Journal Gazette | 06/27/2004 | County utility upstages feds in Enron probe":
How did a public utility district with 290,000 customers nearly 2,000 miles from Enron’s Houston headquarters find itself at the forefront of such a complex legal battle, ahead of much larger utilities and state and federal regulators?I think Eric is just being modest.
“We just happened to turn over the right rock that had this amazing trove of evidence that was not only legally explosive but something that ordinary people could listen to and say, ‘Wow, these guys are really crooked bastards,’ ” Snohomish lawyer Eric Christensen said.
Here's a nice compliment:
The transcriptions were explosive. Enron traders joked about lying in their negotiations with Snohomish and others. They joked about stealing money from “Grandma Millie” in California, and they joked that President Bush would not stop them by imposing price caps because of his close relationship with then-Enron chief executive Ken Lay.The story explains that PUD was motivated by a desire not to pay $122 million to Enron as part of a bankruptcy settlement.
“This is more than a smoking gun,” said Russ Campbell, another Nevada Power lawyer. “It’s an audiotape of the gun being fired, the bullet hitting the victim and the murderer standing over the victim laughing.”
So, they're not trying to get money from Enron (which seems quite problematic, as a reader pointed out to me in an email). But there's still a big pile of cash at stake.
Taxpayers of the region should be very happy if this works out.
Then, maybe Eric should consider running for public office. This has got to be nearly as good as a prosecutor winning a major conviction in a high profile case.