Ex-Westar executives' retrial postponed

TOPEKA, Kan. - The federal retrial of two top executives of Westar Energy Inc. has been postponed, the U.S. Attorney's office said Friday.

The trial of David Wittig and Douglas Lake had been scheduled to start Monday, after a federal appeals court last week refused to disqualify U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson over defense attorneys' allegations of bias.

The next scheduled court date is May 17, when Robinson will hear motions. She is expected to set a new trial date at that time, said Jim Cross, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said.

Wittig, the former chairman and chief executive officer, and Lake, the former executive vice president, face 40 criminal counts including fraud, money laundering and circumventing internal controls.

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