Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 15:52:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Hurwitz S&L trial loss- a personal note

Dear friends and supporters,

In case any of you haven't heard, MAXXAM and Charles Hurwitz were
found "not liable" on all counts in his Savings and Loan trial in
Houston before the court of the Office of Thrift Supervision.  Judge
Arthur Shipe, who is 84 and should know better, waited 21 months
before issuing a ruling.  The cowardly jurist decided to hand down his
recommendation after the tragedy at the World Trade Center, most
likely so that no one would notice.  I expected more from my elders,
but as we all know, wisdom does not always come with age here in

Many of us had speculated and hoped that since he was taking so long
he would be handing down a thoughtful decision.  Rather he parroted
MAXXAM's own pleadings and stated more or less, that the government
had not provided one scintilla of evidence against MAXXAM.  What a

MAXXAM gleefully sent out a press release while the dust around the
WTC was still high in the air and survivors were still being pulled
out.  They possess no decorum or shame.  Their paid PR hack, Josh
Reiss, mimicked the Boise Cascade/Frontiers of Freedom attack on
Rainforest Action Network and swore MAXXAM would look into how we
non-profits are spending our money.  I responded on radio that we
issue statements every week to the news media and the public how we
spend our money and that the public was well aware of how their
donations were being spent.  But the fact that these goons could not
even take a moment to engage in the national grieving and
contemplation as to what had just happened is outright disgusting.
And revealing.

In fact, the events of that week made the S&L loss, the defeat of a
campaign that took over 8 years of hard work to engage in, pale in
comparison to the suffering of so many others.  It was surreal.

MAXXAM, however, is not out of the woods yet.  The Director of the
Office of Thrift Supervison is the ultimate judge and can overturn the
cowardly Judge Shipe's decision.  It is unlikely, given the certainty
of Shipe's ruling, that Director Ellen Seidman or her successor, James
Gilleran, will do that.  I do not recommend writing to her or her
successor because that could be surmised as tampering and screw things
up even further.  Letters of encouragement to the OTS attorneys might
be worthwhile, but let's face it--things are not looking good in this

There is also the $250 million FDIC trial versus Charles Hurwitz.
That case has been waiting in the wings in Federal court in Houston
for OTS to complete its mission.  Judge Lynn Hughes is a total
corporate kiss-ass who once compared the FDIC to La Cosa Nostra.  So
things don't look too encouraging there either.

But there is a God, who works in really mysterious ways, in my
estimate.  And a Goddess, very much so.  And Charles Hurwitz's karma
is not good at all, in case anyone hasn't noticed. Fate has a fickle
finger, so don't let the current events in the MAXXAM universe or the
world at large get us too down.  I hate to be trite, but it's often
darkest before the dawn.  Let the chips fall where there will.  We've
done our best and we can all be proud of that.  The battle rages on in
the forests, in the aluminum mills, in the desert and in the hearts,
minds and souls of humanity.  It ain't over til the fat lady sings.
And she ain't even humming yet.

Peace and prayers,
Darryl Cherney