Archive for Friday, August 20, 2010

Judge postpones third trial of former Westar executives

August 20, 2010


— The third trial of former Westar Energy executives Douglas Lake and David Wittig, which was scheduled to begin Sept. 20, has been postponed.

Wittig was chief executive officer of Westar and Lake was his top strategy officer. They are charged with conspiracy to loot the utility and hide their actions.

No new date for the trial was set during a brief hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court. The site of the trial has not yet been determined.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson set a motions hearing for the week of Sept. 20 or Sept. 27.


OutlawJHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

What a sham...

The ego of the federal prosecuters will not let them lose this or let this go. Your created evidence is not enough to convict and the jury agrees you are WRONG. Go find some REAL criminals.

itwasthedukes 7 years, 10 months ago

Make no mistake, big money does not make you innocent it just makes it very difficult to prosecute, these guys need to go down.

OutlawJHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Money does not make you a criminal either, dukes. A jury agrees with me...twice. Dense is code for intelligence...thank you defender, however what is a REAL criminal, I guess someone who has been tried twice and exhonerated both times.

Jimo 7 years, 10 months ago

It is very difficult to prosecute these types of cases (leaving aside that it's rare that these types of cases even come to light). And the Supreme Court's recent limitation on "honest services" doesn't help. Now, evidence that the executive had a conflict of interest or acted contrary to the best interests of the company and its shareholders is insufficient to make out a case of mail or wire fraud.

The sad fact is that state legislatures and Congress have failed to write the statutes on corporate governance so that shareholders have a serious chance of controlling the organized - and quite legal - looting of corporate assets by management. Only in extreme cases like Westar's do the executives become so greedy that they cannot limit themselves to all the goodies tossed their way by the Board members (comprised of friends and cronies appointed by management itself). In reality, only institutional investors such as pension funds have the influence to limit some of this and (a) they usually have more immediate concerns than relatively small-scale pilfering and (b) have no legal duty to pursue such self-interested misbehavior.

OutlawJHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Well stated post Jimo and you are absolutely right on.

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