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Two former executives of a utility company have filed a lawsuit, saying they were denied compensation and benefits they were entitled to after they resigned following a critical report of top management and company accounting and governance procedures. Peter H. Forster and Caroline E. Muhlenkamp filed the lawsuit Thursday in Florida against DPL Inc., Dayton Power and Light Co., and MVE Inc. Forster was the former chairman of the companies, and Muhlenkamp was the companies’ former interim chief financial officer and president of MVE, the subsidiary that managed DPL’s investments. They resigned from their jobs in May, days after an outside law firm — hired to investigate the company’s accounting and governance — delivered a report that was critical of top management. The lawsuit said Forster and Muhlenkamp were denied their contractual and other entitlements after their resignations. “Pete and Caroline are looking for fairness. The DPL companies contracted for services and my clients rendered those services. We expect the DPL companies to honor their commitments,” attorney Stanley Arkin said in a news release. Arkin said the lawsuit was filed in Duval County Superior Court in Jacksonville, Fla., because both Forster and Muhlenkamp currently live in the area. He said the lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount being sought. DPL spokesman Fred Spar declined to comment. At the time of the resignations, DPL said it reserved the right to challenge any compensation and benefits. DPL has since said it is under investigation by federal prosecutors and is subject to an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Dayton Power and Light serves about 500,000 customers in western Ohio. DPL had 2003 sales of $1.19 billion. On Monday, a group of shareholders who reached a $145.5 million settlement with DPL filed a lawsuit in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court seeking the return of more than $33 million from Forster, Muhlenkamp and former president and chief executive Stephen F. Koziar Jr. The suit alleged the executives deceived the board in amending a deferred compensation plan that allowed them to collect more than $33 million years ahead of schedule. Share of DPL fell 5 cents to $19.45 in Friday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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