MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont’s Attorney General Bill Sorrell will not press charges against one of Vermont’s most outspoken critics of industrial wind and solar projects. But that critic says the fight isn’t over.
Known for her persistence, Annette Smith threatened a civil rights lawsuit against the attorney general’s office if they did not drop the investigation. She claims she’s a lawful advocate for Vermonters and simply exercising free speech.
Smith believes she’s a voice for the powerless, she helps Vermonters without lawyers protect their legal interests before the Public Service Board. “We can work together to site renewable energy. We don’t have to fight over this. We don’t need lawyers to fight over how we build our energy future together,” said Smith. Smith runs the nonprofit Vermonters for a Clean Environment and she works with homeowners who are unhappy with the siting process for solar or wind projects.
But allegations that she was practicing law without a license triggered an investigation by Vermont’s attorney general: An energy developer sent a letter to the AG alleging Smith, “provided legal advice” and helped “draft pleadings” for those parties. Read article