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Archive for Thursday, January 6, 2011

Judge rejects bid to destroy records in former Westar Energy executive’s case

January 6, 2011

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— A federal judge has rejected a request by a former Westar Energy executive to have his arrest records destroyed because charges against him have been dismissed.

Douglas Lake was a top strategy officer at the Topeka-based utility when he and former CEO David Wittig were charged in 2003 with conspiring to inflate their compensation. Prosecutors dropped charges in August as they awaited a third trial.

Lake wanted all his fingerprints, photographs and records in Justice Department databases destroyed

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ruled Thursday that Lake offered no evidence of actual lost employment opportunities or prejudice to his economic interests. She says in her order that she understands that the government's seven-year prosecution had taken a personal toll on Lake, but his claims of damages are speculative.

Comments

Mari Aubuchon 3 years, 3 months ago

By the way, Wittig and Lake got off because the Supreme Court changed the law regarding bribes and kickbacks. I hardly think that this is a testament to their "innocence". Civil claims against these men by Westar continue.

Here is the LJ article concerning all of this: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/aug...

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Mari Aubuchon 3 years, 3 months ago

He must be well into his 60s. I seriously doubt he is looking for another job. I fail to see how this record will negatively affect him.

As for the legal process itself, this is a question of expungement because of "factual innocence" .

Here is an explanation of this from Avvo legal guide:

"The Court won’t grant the factual innocence petition unless it finds that “no reasonable cause exists to believe that the arrestee committed the offense”. That is significant. It means that if the Prosecutor opposes the petition and introduces incriminating evidence that could have allowed a jury to convict, then the petition should be denied. This may occur if the District Attorney dismissed the case due to inability to get admissible evidence in to court, though he believed strongly that the accused was guilty. Remember, it is not enough that there was a good defense that might have gained an acquittal at trial. Your expungement lawyer must prove that under the current evidence, no reasonable person would think that you were guilty. So you have to help your lawyer gather sworn statements from witnesses and others who know you are innocent, or other evidence that proves it. "

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Jimo 3 years, 3 months ago

So the gov'ts next step is to charge every citizen of crimes, take their fingerprints (DNA?) and then drop the charges so that Big Brother can obtain what they cannot otherwise constitutionally obtain?

What interest does the gov't have in retaining fingerprints of a citizen it admits has committed no crime? Why is Lake being asked to prove anything?

And those who see threats to liberty in every routine gov't action are where when actual liberty is destroyed?

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Zachary Stoltenberg 3 years, 3 months ago

Well I still think he's a creep. He may have gotten off by burning through appeals but I still think he's guilty. That's all the proof anyone should need.

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