Archive for Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Attorney seeks additional prep time

December 3, 2002


— An attorney for a former Topeka banker who prosecutors say profited from a $1.5 million loan made to former utility executive David Wittig has asked the judge for more time to prepare for trial.

Robert Eye, an attorney for Clinton Odell Weidner II, filed a request to postpone his client's trial from beginning as scheduled in January, citing a busy schedule.

Weidner and Wittig face federal charges that include money laundering, filing false documents, conspiracy and misapplication of bank funds. Both have pleaded innocent, with a trial set for Jan. 21 in U.S. District Court in Topeka.

Wittig resigned Nov. 22 as president and chief executive officer of Westar Energy Inc., Kansas' largest electric utility.

A federal grand jury indictment charges that Weidner and Wittig said in documents the money would be used by Wittig for business investments, stock purchases and the remodeling of Wittig's home.

Instead, according to the indictment, the money went to Weidner so he could obtain a 50 percent interest in a Scottsdale, Ariz., real estate development. The indictment also contends the government can seize the property in Arizona and $1.5 million.

Both sides have until Dec. 10 to file pretrial motions. Response to those motions is due Dec. 17. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9 before Judge Sam Crow.

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