- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DENVER (AP) - Former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio says he’s not bitter despite his claims that the government targeted him for insider trading charges for failing to participate in a surveillance program seven months before the 9/11 attacks.

Speaking to KCNC-TV (http://cbsloc.al/1reS5iv) Tuesday, Nacchio said he’s passionate about working to reform the criminal justice system.

“I’m not bitter. … I’m passionate,” Nacchio said. “I’m passionate that the ideals of America that I was schooled in and brought up in when I was a kid … was one where you believed in the fundamental fairness of the American system.”

He said he would work on correcting so-called civil disabilities for felons such as losing the right to vote, not being able to own a gun or failure to get licensed in some states for jobs such as barbers. He also plans to publish a book.

“Life is not fair. I got caught up in a bad situation. I can hold my head up high. I did not commit a federal crime,” Nacchio said.

Nacchio was convicted by a jury in 2007 of selling $52 million in stock of Denver-based Qwest based on inside information. He was sentenced to nearly six years in prison and forfeited $45 million in gains. Nacchio won a court victory in March in his bid to recover $18 million in taxes on the money he forfeited. He must still prove he can claim the money as a deductible as a business expense or loss.

In a 32-minute video clip of the interview released by the station, Nacchio echoed themes from previous interviews given since his release from prison in September, as well from court documents.

Those claims are that the government approached him in February 2001 to ask him to participate in a government surveillance program. Nacchio said he didn’t think the program was legal so he didn’t participate, leading to the loss of government contracts and eventually insider trading charges.

Federal prosecutors have denied Nacchio’s allegations.

CenturyLink acquired Denver-based Qwest in 2011 in a deal that turned it into the nation’s third-largest telephone company.

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Information from: KCNC-TV, http://www.cbsdenver.com