The lead prosecutor in the Joseph Nacchio insider-trading case, Bill Leone, has withdrawn because he is returning to private practice.
Leone, the acting U.S. Attorney for Colorado, said he will stay to help with the transition, according to the Associated Press. He is the second prosecutor to leave the case involving the former chief executive of Qwest Communications International Inc.; prosecutor Mike Koenig withdrew two months ago to return to private practice.
Leone has served as acting U.S. Attorney since January 1, 2005. He is expected to be replaced soon by Troy Eid, who was appointed by President Bush and has already been confirmed by the Senate, according to the AP, although there is still no date for when he will officially take office.
“I respect Bill’s decision to return to private life — and his commitment to serve on the Qwest prosecution team as long as necessary to ensure an effective transition,” Eid reportedly said in a statement.
Nacchio faces 42 counts of insider trading related to the sale of $101 million in Qwest stock in early 2001. In late July, he asked that his trial be moved from Denver to New Jersey, where he currently lives..
If he is convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on each count and a $1 million fine, according to The Denver Business Journal.