CHICAGO - Andersen has surrounded itself with a coterie of communications firms as it has become increasingly implicated in the Enron collapse.
Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates, Griffin Johnson Dover & Stewart, and Ketchum, its PR agency of record, are all working with the firm.
Andersen was both auditor and consultant to the energy broker, which filed the largest bankruptcy in US history last December. That dual role has come under scrutiny as a possible conflict of interest, prompting questions about practices across the accounting industry.
David Tabolt, a partner with Andersen, has been the firm's primary media spokesperson, and is responsible for leadership and reputation communications. He feels the coverage of Andersen's role has been balanced.
"No one likes to see the things that are written about our firm," he said. "But on balance, the reporters in this case have been aggressive, challenging, and have asked tough questions. I have found them to be, in most cases, reasonably fair."
He said that Andersen is working to communicate that "this is a firm that takes seriously its business role, and is committed to doing the best job right away." Tabolt said he and Patrick Dorton, North America media relations head, are trying to be as candid as possible with the press.
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