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Allegheny Energy CEO swears financial accuracy

August 15, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Allegheny Energy Chief Executive Officer Alan J. Noia signed and filed a statement Wednesday swearing to the accuracy of the power company's recent financial reports.

Wednesday was the deadline for the chief executive officers and chief financial officers of nearly 700 corporations to file sworn statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In response to the accounting scandals of recent months, the SEC in late June ordered 947 companies - all with annual revenues exceeding $1.2 billion - to submit the sworn statements. About 250 of them have deadlines later this year because they operate on a fiscal year rather than on a calendar year.

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CEOs and chief financial officers who falsely certify their company reports could be prosecuted and imprisoned.

Allegheny's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Bruce E. Walenczyk, also signed and filed such a statement, according to the power company and the SEC's Web site at www.sec.gov.

Copies of the signed statements were available at www.alleghenyenergy.com.

Noia was not available for comment on Wednesday, Allegheny Energy spokeswoman Cynthia Shoop said.

In a July 31 conference call with analysts, Noia said "Our financial statements remain, as always, in full compliance with generally accepted accounting standards, and Bruce (Walenczyk) and I expect to certify them with the SEC next month," Shoop said.

Noia and Walenczyk reviewed Allegheny's financial statements before signing the sworn statements, Shoop said.

"We've always made full disclosure for investors. Our senior management is always looking at the financial statements," Shoop said.

In those statements, both men state "To the best of my knowledge."

Shoop said Noia and Walenczyk also certified Allegheny's second quarter 10-Q SEC filing, which will be required by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Shoop said.

That certification wasn't required until later this year, but they went ahead and did it, she said. Such filings will be required every fiscal quarter.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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