Jun 15, 2012

DCP Midstream attorneys try to muzzle Maine citizens at Searsport public meeting

Mainers reacted with anger and disbelief  when attorneys for Colorado-based DCP Midstream Corp tried to interrupt & close down the public comment section of a meeting on the company's controversial plan to install an oversized LPG tank on the shore of scenic Penobscot Bay.

SEARSPORT. At the June 11th meeting of the Searsport Planning Board, DCP Midstream attorneys Kelly Boden & James Kilbreth tried to block and even close down public comment on the Denver-based company's controversial plan for a 22.6 million gallon liquified petroleum gas tank in this tiny port town.  The two lawyers' unsuccessful efforts were captured on videoAngry Mainers are calling for the company to replace the two attorneys with others who actually respect Maine law. (Youtube version of incident)

Area residents were already upset because DCP Midstream officials had succeeded in convincing town officials to delay the public comment section of the evening meeting for more than three hours, causing many citizens to have to leave before their opportunity to speak came up. The public comment section of planning board meetings in Maine are traditionally held at the beginning of the meeting.

But emotions reached a flashpoint when DCP attorneys Kelly B. Boden and James Kilbreth, working in tandem, apparently tried to shut the delayed public comment period down. 

First, Boden walked to the front of the line of citizens waiting to speak. Told by Searsport  planning board chair Bruce Probert to return to the end of the line, the DCP lawyer ignored the request, pushed  past Camden resident Thomas Michaels, who was just beginning his testimony, and announced that she wanted to object to statements made by previous public speakers. Expressions of disbelief filled the air as enraged Mainers echoed the planning board chief in telling Boden to go away from the podium. Probert finally ordered the DCP lawyer to back off and called for calm.  

Then, as Thomas Michaels resumed his testimony, noting the added costs the company's controversial  tank would bring to towns around Penobscot Bay, and challenging DCP's refusal to produce a simple 3-D representation of the company's proposal, DCP's other attorney, James Kilbreth, walked to the front of the chamber and, referring to the hubbub created by Boden, told town officials "you better shut this [meeting] down".  The Planning Board declined Kilbreth's "advice", and allowed Michaels and other citizens to testify. Recording of complete hearing here
This disgraceful behavior by DCP's lawyers is a warning call to Mainers. The  Maine Supreme Judicial Court found late last year that Kilbreth violated state ethics rules in an embezzlement case. 

If DCP Midstream continues to allow these two to represent them on this project, then it will be clear that the company has nothing but contempt for Maine law and Maine people.

Recent media Coverage of DCP's controversial plan: Click Here


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