NEW YORK – Prosecutors in the Tyco (search) trial "made a major miscalculation" in spending so much time describing former Tyco CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski's (search) lavish lifestyle, one of the jurors writes in this week's Time magazine.
Juror Peter McEntegart (search), a reporter for Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated, said that while the prosecutors provided "vivid accounts and video of the now famous $2 million bash ... and of his over-the-top purchases of items like $6,000 shower curtains," the jury spent little time on the excesses of Kozlowski and former chief financial officer Mark H. Swartz (search).
"Much of what these two men did might have been unseemly, even unethical -- but illegal beyond a reasonable doubt? Not to us," McEntegart wrote. "Instead, several jury members expressed disgust that the prosecution has wasted our time on all this."
The nearly six-month trial of Kozlowski and Swartz was declared a mistrial Friday because of pressure on one juror who apparently received an intimidating letter and phone call urging her to convict.
Prosecutors have said they would retry the two "at the earliest opportunity."
Kozlowski and Swartz were accused of looting the company of $600 million.
McEntegart said Ruth Jordan, the juror who received the letter after being publicly identified by The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, "seemed to be at war with herself. Whenever she reached the precipice of a guilty vote on any count, she recoiled as if she had touched a hot stove."
According to McEntegart, Jordan told fellow jurors she felt that Kozlowski's and Swartz's ethnicities played into the case, and said that Tyco's board of directors served them up to prosecutors who were eager to make an example of corporate greed. The defendants' ethnicities were never mentioned in testimony.
But McEntegart said Jordan eventually told her fellow jurors she had had a change of heart, and by Thursday afternoon the panel "had reached a strong consensus for guilty verdicts on the final two counts, conspiracy and securities fraud."
He said the jury was close to a verdict when the mistrial was declared.
"We had come together, however uneasily, only to have the marathon canceled just as we were staggering the final yards," McEntegart wrote.