We’re going to have to be blunt here: June Weaver, the former Brocade Communications HR administrator, is an incredibly bad witness.
Testifying last week and again Monday morning in the criminal fraud trial of former Brocade CEO Gregory Reyes for backdating employee stock options, Weaver exhibited several behaviors that — as annoying as they were to observers — must have been much more irritating to attorneys on both sides of the case.
For one thing, Weaver barely remembers anything at all about her time working for Brocade (though she does communicate that ignorance with a remarkable self-assurance). Weaver doesn’t remember how she felt about things, who she talked to, the nature of documents with her name on them, and whether she received certain e-mails and memos that were sent to her.
Then there’s her apparent tic of asking people to rephrase questions: She does it with approximately 40 percent of questions, and that’s a lot given that she was on the stand for almost three days.
Most striking, though, has been the occasional recollection that Weaver does have — memories that would be ordinary for most people, but seem extraordinary given what we've come to expect from her.
>For example, Weaver first made news last week when she testified hearing Reyes say: “It’s not illegal if you don’t get caught.” Of course, Weaver had no recollection of what Reyes was referring to or when he said it, though she assumes it had to do with options because that’s the only subject on which they conversed.
Then there was her testimony this morning on redirect that she raised concerns about options improprieties to her boss, Stephanie Jensen (who was indicted along with Reyes, and is awaiting trial). That assertion contradicted Weaver's earlier testimony on cross examination that she never raised concerns, and she apparently did not tell the FBI about that conversation when agents interviewed her in 2005.
“Between cross and redirect, after I explored this area with you extensively, you then come up with a conversation you said you had?” asked Richard Marmaro, Reyes’ defense lawyer, on re-cross.
“It jogged my memory,” Weaver said, to the shock of many in the courtroom, as it had heretofore appeared to be unjoggable. Alas, the jogging quickly slowed to a more familiar pace.
“Do you remember telling the FBI, during your meeting with them in 2005, what you now say you first remembered at a quarter to 12 on June 25?” Marmaro asked.
“I do not remember,” Weaver said.
There was more to her testimony this morning, some of it refreshingly — if surprisingly — candid. After Weaver conceded to Marmaro that she herself had received, cashed in and profited from backdated options, Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Reeves asked her to explain why that didn’t make her uncomfortable (he actually asked twice, since she asked him to rephrase the question).
Her reply: “Because I could make some money from them.”
— Justin Scheck