The Enron whistle-blower who wasn't

In an interview, Mends says he explained to Brewer that on Friday evening, Mark mentioned the domain name to her husband and Azurix's plans to register it. Jusbasche said the company shouldn't wait all weekend before registering the name. Instead, he went ahead and registered it himself, through his own website, ChemicalDesk.com, to prevent an outside party from squatting on it.

Another former colleague of Brewer's, Amanda Brock, who was known as Amanda Martin when she worked at Enron and Azurix, told USA TODAY the same thing.

Brewer saw it differently. She writes in her book that she viewed the domain-name registrations as evidence of an "ongoing criminal enterprise" in which Enron would have to pay Jusbasche for the domain names. In her public appearances, including the NYSE speech, Brewer cites the event as an example of "espionage."

When USA TODAY asked her for any evidence that Jusbasche had been paid off to turn over control of the domain names, Brewer's story evolved. In one interview, she said Diane Bazelides, head of communications at Azurix, had told her that Jusbasche had been paid. USA TODAY contacted Bazelides, who denied ever making such a statement. In a follow-up interview, Brewer said it wasn't Bazelides who'd made the assertion, but someone in the accounting department whose name she couldn't recall.

Departure

In March 2000, Brewer moved from Azurix to Enron Broadband Services' competitive intelligence unit in Portland, Ore. Although she had a new supervisor, her group reported to Mends. It was there that events surrounding a business trip led to her departure.

According to Mends, Brewer was a good researcher who was adept at using databases such as Factiva and LexisNexis. In that capacity, she traveled to various Enron locations to conduct training sessions on how to use Factiva.

Mends says Brewer was scheduled to travel to London in September 2000 to conduct a one-week training session. He also says that Brewer asked whether it was all right if her fiancé, Doug Brewer, tagged along. Mends approved, as long as her companion paid his own way and didn't interfere with her work obligations.

After the trip, Mends' assistant discovered through the receipts filed by Brewer that she had rented a car upon arrival and traveled across England for most of the week. Mends called staffers in London and learned that Brewer never performed the task for which she had been sent. He asked one of his lieutenants, David Gossett, to resolve the matter.

Gossett says that once he learned that Brewer had not done the training she arranged in London, her career at Enron was over.

Brewer says she rented the car and stayed outside of London because of a terrorist threat in the city. (Whatever the terrorist threat may have been, Enron's London office operated normally all week, says Mends.) She also insists that she performed the work that was assigned in London and that she left the company entirely of her own volition on Nov. 13, 2000.

In her book, she says Enron paid her $30,000 in severance and eventually covered the London expenses.

Brewer spent several hours on the phone with USA TODAY discussing her past for this story.

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