Former Westar CEO sent to prison


? Former Westar Energy Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Wittig was sent to federal prison today after a judge ruled he had violated terms of his release pending an appeal of his bank fraud convictions.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson said that numerous financial transactions by Wittig and his wife, Beth, were made without the court’s approval, which was required under the terms of his bond agreement.

Wittig was convicted in July 2003 of conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering for helping former Capital City Bank President Clinton Odell Weidner II hide a $1.5 million loan made between the two men from bank officials and federal regulators. Wittig was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

He was convicted again in September, along with former Westar Chief Strategy Officer Douglas Lake, of wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and circumventing internal controls in a scheme to surreptitiously increase his compensation at Westar. Sentencing is scheduled for April 3.