MONTPELIER, Vt. – A longtime critic of the way sites for large-scale renewable energy projects are picked in Vermont is the target of an investigation into whether she's been operating as a lawyer without a license.
Annette Smith frequently consults with residents and towns who appear before a regulatory board in opposition of these projects.
Smith says she's never held herself out to be a lawyer. She won't comment on the specifics of the allegations but says they're meant to silence public participation.
Unlicensed legal work is neither a misdemeanor nor a felony under Vermont law, but is in a special class of contempt.
A Smith ally, attorney Deborah Bucknam, of St. Johnsbury, says Smith's main offense is too often annoying renewable power developers.