by Erin Mundahl
As the year passes, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s case against ExxonMobil grinds on, slowly drawing in a broader circle of state officials outside of New York with questionable ties to the case. On Wednesday, Bill Sorrell, Vermont’s longest-serving Attorney General, was due at the courthouse in Burlington, Vermont. Sorrell’s term ended in 2016, but he remains part of the lawsuit. He failed to appear for a deposition ordered by Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a non-profit group engaged in litigation and public education on energy and environmental issues.
Sorrell is included in E&E Legal’s litigation against the Vermont Attorney General’s office. The deposition was an attempt to gain access to emails Sorrell is believed to have sent on a personal account during the legal probe into Exxon’s finances. E&E Legal is looking for emails Sorrell sent to Schneiderman discussing Schneiderman’s investigations into the Exxon case.
“Any first year law student understands you cannot ignore basic civil procedures like skipping a deposition if you are compelled, simply because you would prefer not to participate,” said E&E lead counsel Matthew Harding, in a statement. “When you consider the fact that the individual in question is the former attorney general of an entire state, his failure to ignore the very rules he spent twenty years enforcing is unfathomable.”