By Eric Palmer, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
May 17--Westar Energy executives may have violated federal election laws by being "conduits" for contributions to federal candidates, according to the company's internal investigation.
The report, released Thursday, said then-Westar vice presidents Carl Koupal and Douglas Lawrence regularly solicited political contributions from other executives on behalf of then-chief executive David Wittig.
Wittig resigned in November after being indicted on bank fraud charges unrelated to Westar. Koupal and Lawrence also have resigned.
Many aspects of the contribution process appear proper, the report said. It is permissible under federal law for employees of a company to make campaign contributions.
The report also noted that political contributions were not a main focus of Westar's internal investigation, and acknowledged that its findings were based on "limited and possibly incomplete information."
But the report also noted that "several aspects of the actions of Wittig, Koupal and Lawrence raise troubling questions concerning possible facilitation of contributions by the company and suggest that the company -- or …