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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Payette County sued for role in nuke plant stock-fraud scheme

Payette County is being sued for approving a proposed nuclear power plant that critics say was actually just a stock-fraud scheme. “Payette County failed to prudently represent the public interest and directly injured the hardworking neighbors of the purported power plant site,” a group of 11 neighbors of the proposed plant site said in a statement. They've sued both the county and Alternative Energy Holdings Inc., along with the firm's two leaders, Don Gillispie and Jennifer Ransom; they're asking that all approvals for the project be reversed.

The lawsuit, filed in 3rd District Court in Payette County earlier this week, says the county's approvals, including a comprehensive plan change, zoning change and variance, “materially aided the Defendants in the fraud scheme by which Defendants raised millions of dollars.”

The county's approvals were the only sign of legitimacy for the project, the neighbors charge, saying, “Payette County allowed the Idaho Local Land Use Planning Act to be abused as part of a get-rich-quick scheme.” Notably, the plaintiffs' attorneys include the firm that won the Alamar Ranch case in which Boise County was hit with a $4 million  judgment for an improper zoning decision that violated federal law. You can read the 63-page complaint here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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