SOURCE: Westar Energy

Westar Energy

August 20, 2010 21:07 ET

Westar Energy Responds to U.S. Department of Justice's Decision to End Prosecution Against Former Company Executives David Wittig, Douglas Lake

TOPEKA, KS--(Marketwire - August 20, 2010) -  The U.S. Department of Justice announced today it will no longer pursue prosecution of former Westar Energy (NYSE: WR) executives David Wittig and Douglas Lake. Jim Ludwig, Westar Energy executive vice president, issued the following response:

We are extremely disappointed that the Department of Justice has given up pursuing justice against Wittig and Lake because we believe our investors still deserved an opportunity, after this long ordeal, to see whether a jury would hold them accountable for their actions. Our investors, who have borne the damages and expenses from this process, have not received any restitution.

We disagree with the DOJ's decision, but it's not our decision to make. We don't have authority to pursue criminal charges. Only the government can do that.

We will pursue our civil claims against Wittig and Lake in an arbitration proceeding, which was put on hold until the criminal proceedings were finished. With the DOJ's failure to prosecute them, the criminal proceedings are over and our civil claims against them will be heard.

Our investors pay for all the expenses from legal proceedings against Wittig and Lake. Our customers do not pay any of those costs through their electric rates.

Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is the largest electric utility in Kansas, providing electric service to about 685,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has about 6,800 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates more than 35,000 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.WestarEnergy.com.

Forward-looking statements: Certain matters discussed in this news release are "forward-looking statements." The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 has established that these statements qualify for safe harbors from liability. Forward-looking statements may include words like "believe," "anticipate," "target," "expect," "pro forma," "estimate," "intend," "guidance" or words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements describe future plans, objectives, expectations or goals. Although Westar Energy believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include those discussed herein as well as (1) those discussed in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009 (a) under the heading, "Forward-Looking Statements," (b) in ITEM 1A. Risk Factors, (c) in ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and (d) in ITEM 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data: Notes 13 and 15; (2) those discussed in the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed May 6, 2010 (a) in ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and (b) in Part I, Financial Information, ITEM 1. Financial Statements: Notes 7 and 8; and (3) other factors discussed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date such statement was made, and the company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement was made.