"In Vermont, Thorn In Side Of Powerful Faces Criminal Probe"

"MONTPELIER, Vt. — Annette Smith has been fighting the power for more than 15 years, tenaciously opposing energy projects she believes harm the environment or quality of life in Vermont.

Now she is the target of a criminal investigation into whether her efforts constitute unlicensed legal work — but her allies say her only offense is too often annoying a green power industry that boasts deep pockets.

"Even though this is a preposterous charge, and will likely be thrown out, its purpose will be fulfilled: to chill anyone's free speech rights who dares to question the powerful in Montpelier," attorney Deborah Bucknam wrote in an op-ed."

Dave Gram reports for the Associated Press January 31, 2016.

Source: AP, 02/01/2016