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Friday, April 05, 2002|
Waste Management Imbroglio Snares Fund Trustee
Morgan Stanley's Van Kampen unit is has lost one board member for fifty of its mutual funds. Phillip Rooney, formerly CEO of Waste Management, has resigned his seat on the warehouse's funds in response to a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of accounting practices at the firm.
Though Rooney cited "personal reasons" for the resignation, it could be inferred that his resignation is another ripple in the widening Enron-inspired account crises facing corporate America. Like Enron, Waste Management retained Arthur Anderson as its auditor and it was Anderson's behavior in that case that is said to have set the scene for events in the Enron case.
Last month the SEC filed a civil suit against former Waste Management executives that named Rooney along with five other executives at the company. That suit alleges that officers overstated earnings by $1.7 billion. The defendants in the suit deny that they did anything improper.
The suit also seeks to bar any of the named defendants from serving as directors or officers in publicly-owned corporations.
Rooney had sat on the fund's boards since 1997.
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