Montpelier, VT – On Monday, after months of legal wrangling, obfuscation by custodians of public records, and one deposition no-show, former Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell appeared in order to testify regarding his role as co-ringleader in the ‘Climate-RICO’ AG scandal. By court order, his deposition was to focus specifically on his use of a private Gmail account he used to correspond with the other co-ringleader in the scandal, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, among others now known to have been involved. Throughout the 90-minute deposition, Sorrell, instructed by an attorney from the Vermont Office of the Attorney General (OAG), failed to answer any questions of substance.
Because of this ongoing stonewall campaign, and specifically due to the fact that Sorrell did not cooperate with Monday’s deposition, in defiance of a Vermont Superior Court order, the nonprofit public watchdog group Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) has been forced once again to seek the Court’s intervention. Today, E&E Legal filed two motions with the Court. The first is a motion to compel, which seeks the Court’s assistance yet again in instructing Sorrell, and the Vermont OAG, to to simply answer the questions posed to him in the deposition regarding “the extent to which he has documents and correspondence on his private email account and computer that relate to the specific public record in this case.” The second motion seeks reimbursement of legal costs and fees due to how much time and money just this most recent Sorrell and OAG delay tactic cost the group.
“The law only works as well as the parties involved are willing to abide by the clear rules established concerning any legal issue,” said Matthew Hardin, E&E Legal’s lead attorney in the case. “All of this legal wrangling, stonewalling, and delaying is wasting a lot of time and money, and for the current and former Vermont attorneys general to be engaging in such practices makes this so much more egregious.”
Hardin has also repeatedly been forced to appear in front of the New York Supreme Court including again this week, arguing for the release of Schneiderman’s Gmail correspondence with Sorrell and other records including, we now know, correspondence with major party donors and ideological activists who worked with NY’s OAG on these investigations of political opponents. E&E Legal has spent months in that state as well seeking records related to Sorrell and Schneiderman’s led ‘Climate-RICO AG scheme.
About EE Legal
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues. Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.