updated 5/17/2004 11:16:22 AM ET 2004-05-17T15:16:22

Three top executives of energy company DPL Inc. have stepped down, days after a report critical of top management was made public.

The company's board of directors Sunday announced the retirement of President and Chief Executive Stephen Koziar Jr. and the resignations of Chairman Peter Forster and interim Chief Financial Officer Caroline Muhlenkamp, all effective immediately.

DPL is the parent company of Dayton Power and Light Co., which serves about 500,000 customers in western Ohio. DPL had 2003 sales of $1.19 billion.

Company spokesman Fred Spar declined to say on Sunday whether the retirement and resignations were prompted by circumstances surrounding the report.

Investigators hired by DPL's audit committee issued a report, first obtained last week by the Dayton Daily News, that said DPL should have reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission a business deal between it and a private company owned by Forster and Muhlenkamp that ensured the pair would continue to be paid if DPL was sold.

The report also said 740 files were erased from Forster's personal laptop computer days after investigators asked managers to keep documents related to their review. Forster said Tuesday that he turned over all relevant files.

The report was ordered in response to concerns raised in a memo by DPL Controller Daniel Thobe after he declined to sign off on DPL's 2003 annual report.

The board of directors appointed DPL Energy President James Mahoney as CEO and current treasurer Pamela Hodren as interim CFO. The board elected current board member Robert Biggs as chairman.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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