Sad State of Affairs

Indiana finance chief steps down as state budget crisis gets scary. Also: Oracle's Henley says contributions to California pols nothing out of the ordinary.

>> State of Indiana finance chief Betty Cockrum stepping down soon to become head of Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana, according to Indianapolis Star…Cockrum took helm of state budget office two years ago when economy was flush and state was enjoying unprecedented good fiscal times…Now that times are not so heady, Cockrum leaving state officials to figure out what to do about $1 billion budget deficit and falling tax revenue. Decline in tax in-coming could leave Indiana broke by mid-2003, according to newspaper…

Governor Frank O’Bannon calling lawmakers back for special session to solve crisis. Wants legislators to overhaul tax system to protect homeowners from an increase in property taxes next year and still help create high-paying jobs. This won’t be easy.

>> Peabody Energy CFO Richard A. Navarre making changes to his finance team…Navarre hired L. Brent Stottlemyre as VP of finance and controller at world’s biggest coal company…Stottlemyre was partner at Ernst & Young LLP in St. Louis, working with mining clients, including Peabody… Replaces Mark N. Schroeder, who was recently named vice president of corporate development for Peabody…Company also looking for director of financial analysis to report to Stottlemyre…

>>CFO Greg Barnes of staffing company Staffmark adding “president” to job responsibilities… Joined Staffmark as finance chief in 2000 after long stint with Andersen…

CEO David Bartholomew says title reflects work Barnes has already been doing. “Over the past year he has also worked closely with our operations management team in long-range strategic and financial planning,” said Bartholomew. “The title of president and CFO is a more accurate reflection of the breadth and depth of his role in our company.”

CFO Insider

State of California told Oracle its money is no good…Attorney General Bill Lockyer returned $50,000 in campaign contributions made by Oracle to avoid appearance of conflict of interest. Lockyer heading probe into state’s contract with software company. Some claim contract cost taxpayers up to $41 million more than it should… Lockyer raised eyebrows recently when he acknowledged that he received campaign money from Oracle for his state senate race. Governor Gray Davis also reportedly giving back $25,000 contribution to software maker… CFO Jeff Henley defended company in statement. “Because Oracle is headquartered in California and is one of the largest employers in the state, we think it is important for us to participate in the political process.” Other tech attendees reportedly at April 2001 fundraiser for Gov. Davis: AOL, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems.

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