Don't stick ratepayers with CMEEC defendants' legal fees

Ratepayers still have chance for redemption. The federal court dismissed the alleged felons’ motion to throw the case out. Under normal circumstances a defendant would say, "Can I cop a plea? Those legal fees are killing me.” This is not a normal case. The legal fees are approaching $3 million and the alleged felons are paying nothing because the outfit they worked for pays the bill.

In other words, the one who was allegedly stolen from must pay the legal fees. Seems that the issue of paying criminal fees was not contested by the CMEEC board. How could they possibly vote against their fellow board members? Someone advised them to just sit. The issue has never been tested by the court. They were told they can raise the issue at any time. If alleged felons are convicted, or the court determines the bylaws and statutes do not cover criminal fees, how do ratepayers get repaid?

There has been no lien on their properties. No lawsuit initiated. Who represents the ratepayers? Have the towns taken a position on protecting them? Not a word. Does anyone care? The court seems to. Maybe we can hope for some justice. If the alleged five felons had to repay $3 million, that would be $600,000 each, not including the $1 million trips and hand-painted golf balls and scarves. Sad. 

Martin Rutchik

Semi-retired Norwich attorney

Mystic

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