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Westar starts investigation of political contributions

The Business Journal of Kansas City reports:

"We've hired an attorney to look specifically at any of those issues," Mark Schreiber, senior manager of government affairs for Topeka-based Westar (NYSE: WR), said Wednesday. "We don't have a timeline on that, but we're positive he's going to do a thorough and complete review on that."

The investigation by a lawyer versed in election law was recommended by the authors of a 360-page internal report released May 15. The board of directors approved, and the company hired Tim Jenkins of Washington, Schreiber said.

Among those watching closely is the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, which has called for federal investigations into whether Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas; Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La.; or Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, violated congressional ethics rules or federal bribery statutes in connection with their activities on behalf of Westar during 2002.

Thanks to Alfredo Garcia for the link.

Update: More in the Lawrence Journal World. And this study of Westrar documents by the Center for Public Integrity.