Court Rules Against Pebble for Buying Inside Information About Foes

"Developers of the proposed Pebble mine don't deserve special protections for buying insider documents about the financial workings of project opponents and then using the records to pursue a case against those opponents with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, a California appeals court panel ruled [July 30]."

"The ruling allows a California lawsuit filed in March 2011 by the Renewable Resources Coalition, an Anchorage-based anti-Pebble advocacy group, to go forward against Pebble Limited Partnership, the related Pebble Mines Corp. and their lawyers. The former fundraiser for the anti-Pebble forces, Los Angeles-based Robert Kaplan, also is a defendant in the suit but wasn't part of the issue under appeal.

The case ties back to Kaplan's work during the 2008 Clean Water ballot initiative intended to stop the Pebble mine. Voters rejected the measure, Kaplan was fired, and he later sold internal emails, donor lists, bank records and other information to Pebble for $50,000, according to the ruling and to decisions in related cases. An arbitrator in 2012 determined that Kaplan had "unclean hands" for selling the documents, was untruthful and must pay more than $3 million to the coalition and more than $5 million to political consultant Art Hackney but Kaplan has filed for bankruptcy."

Lisa Demer reports for the Anchorage Daily News July 30, 2013.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, 08/08/2013