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New Trouble For Ex-Enron CEO

Federal prosecutors say tests show former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling was drunk when he scuffled with bar patrons on a New York City street, and they want a judge to revisit the conditions of his release on bond.

In a motion filed Wednesday, prosecutors said Skilling's $5 million bond, posted in full when he was arraigned in February on charges of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading, requires that he "refrain from excessive use of alcohol."

The motion alleges a blood test given to Skilling at a Manhattan hospital after the 4 a.m. April 9 scuffle "establishes that Skilling was drinking inordinately that evening."

Prosecutors also say Skilling violated the conditions of his bond by failing to immediately report his contact with police to authorities, as required by his bond.

The filing does not specify what prosecutors want done about Skilling's alleged violations.

Daniel Petrocelli, one of Skilling's lawyers, said Wednesday that Skilling "regrets this episode and wishes it had never happened, but it did not happen as reported in the (Enron Task Force's) motion."

Bond matters often are handled by pretrial services, and Petrocelli said the prosecutors decision to go public makes "the situation worse by prejudicing my client rather than ensuring him his fair trial in court."

According to the filing, Skilling and his wife, Rebecca, began the evening of April 8 with drinks with two men they met at the Four Seasons Hotel where they were staying. The group then went to Bar & Books, a cigar bar on the city's Upper East Side, around midnight.

While at Bar & Books, prosecutors said, Skilling conversed with other patrons and had "several rounds of drinks."

"The defendant during the evening invited the patrons to visit him at his house in Houston, informing them that the defendant would fly them down to Houston and provide them with their own maid," the prosecutors' filing said.

Skilling paid a $171 bar tab, and the other patrons reciprocated by buying more drinks.

Then Skilling grew hostile, the filing alleged, and accused one of the two men from the Four Seasons of being an FBI agent. That man left, and Skilling allegedly began accusing the other patrons of being with the FBI.

At 3:30 a.m., the Bar & Books manager asked Skilling and the other patrons to leave, the filing said.

Then prosecutors say Skilling tried to remove a license plate from the car of two of the patrons with whom he and his wife shared drinks, to seek proof of their identities, and tried to lift the blouse of one of those patrons - a woman - seeking a "wire" used to record their conversations.

He scuffled with two other patrons and other witnesses called police.

"Although they attempted to talk with Skilling about what had happened, the police found Skilling uncooperative and intoxicated," the filing said.

Prosecutors, who say the Justice Department investigated the incident, also disputed previous claims by one of Skilling's lawyers, Bruce Hiler, that Skilling and his wife had been shoved to the ground by two men who had harassed them.

However, Wednesday's filing didn't say that Skilling had patronized two other Manhattan bars - American Trash and the Vudu Lounge - as alleged by police and denied by Hiler.