Today, William Sorrell announced that he was not filing criminal charges against Entergy. He announced this with as much anti-Entergy innuendo as he could manage. While newspapers describe a person caught red-handed as the "alleged" murderer, Sorrell speaks as if he is sure that Entergy is guilty of a crime, but he just couldn't find the evidence.
None of this innocent-until-proven-guilty stuff for Sorrell. He explains that perjury is SO hard to prove, he lacks "the smoking gun evidence"... "to prove that this untrustworthy behavior was criminal," and so forth. He goes on to say that the "active phase of the investigation" is over, "more evidence" may come to light in the future allowing him to file criminal charges against Entergy.
You can watch the whole thing on the video above; I don't have to repeat it here.
Sorrell's short report is also available. There's no new information in the report, as far as I can tell. If you want, you can compare it against the other three reports exonerating Entergy. (You can find links to those reports in my previous blog post.) Frankly, why bother? I have better things to do with my time than check whether, in 17 months of investigations, Sorrell found an email that I had not seen before.
Also, whatever emails Sorrell includes, he concludes that he does not have evidence to file criminal charges.
My Smoking Gun About Sorrell
According to AP, Shumlin "respected Sorrell's conclusions." Then Shumlin took his usual cracks at "Entergy Louisiana" whose "pattern of misinformation" is "not how we expect businesses to act here in Vermont."
Speaking of misinformation, how is a Vermont Attorney General supposed to act? I believe I have a smoking gun about serious inconsistencies in Mr. Sorrell's statements about the investigation.
Sorrell wants to convince us of two things, which are basically contradictory. He wants the people of Vermont to believe:
- He did a thorough, lengthy investigation (17 months, millions of pages of documents, interviews, etc.)
- His investigation cost the taxpayers very little money.
In his press conference, Sorrell declares that both these things are true, despite the obvious contradictions. He describes a year and half of legal investigations of a major company, in a complicated situation....but the whole thing cost---wait for it---$100,000.
That's right. As far as I can tell, $100,000 per year is less than a full-time State's Attorney would receive. (I moused around the Vermont state job board to determine this.)
How did Sorrell do such a lengthy investigation and spend so little money? Did he charge-back the investigation to Entergy somehow? I don't think governments can charge people or companies for investigating them. Governments can certainly charge fines, but that implies a trial and conviction.
There's a smoking gun here. Sorrell isn't saying everything about his investigation. In my opinion, this $100,000 number is part of Sorrell's pattern of misleading the people of Vermont. I'm a taxpayer in this state, and I don't like it.