UCC to states: Control telecom corporate behavior

Public advocates have taken their fight for tougher standards of corporate
behavior to telecommunications licensees and utilities to the states.

The United Church of Christ Wednesday appealed to each of the 50 state
public-utility commissions to hold WorldCom Inc. and other "corporate criminals"
accountable for any breach of the law and public trust.

WorldCom, UCC said, should be held accountable for perpetuating America's
biggest-ever accounting scandal, which included filing of false reports and
making other untrue other statements in violation of state laws and

"UCC is urging you to adopt rules of stewardship for information-age
companies that use the public airways under public-interest authorizations and
manage the nation's digital infrastructure," said Rev. Robert Chase, UCC's director of the office of communication. WorldCom last
year revealed that it overstated earnings by almost $10 billion, leading to investor
losses of more than $176 billion nationwide and forcing WorldCom to slash
30,000 jobs, with more layoffs expected in the near future.

In addition to investigations of WorldCom and other companies' behavior, UCC
wants states to strengthen corporate-character requirements.

At the federal level, UCC in October petitioned the FCC to block transfer of
WorldCom licenses used for long-distance, Web and other