Former Enron executive found dead in car from apparent suicide

Kristen Daley

J. Clifford Baxter, the former vice chairman of the doomed Enron corporation, was found dead in his car on Jan. 25, in Houston, Texas.
Baxter, who according to the Associated Press reportedly complained about the Enron’s “questionable accounting practices” before resigning in May 2001, had been shot in the head. His car was found parked in a turning lane between two medians.
Police found a suicide note in Baxter’s car. The contents of the note were not released to the press as of Jan. 25. The death has been ruled a suicide, however Fort Bend County justice of the peace Jim Richards has ordered an autopsy as a precaution.
Enron’s recent bankruptcy, the biggest in U.S. history, has made news over the past months, as federal prosecutors, the FBI, securities regulators and congressional committees have been investigating their accounting practices. Baxter left the company before its sudden downfall.
According to the Associated Press, Baxter was one of the Enron executives named in a federal lawsuit accusing them of “reaping huge profits on Enron stock before its collapse.” Thousands of the company’s employees saw their retirement savings lost as the company went under.
Before his death, Baxter was also called upon by the House Energy and Commerce committee for an interview. He was not subpoenaed, and no interview had yet been arranged.
Enron released a statement saying: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague, Cliff Baxter. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
Baxter was 43-years-old.