The Vermont attorney general's office has dropped its criminal investigation into whether an environmental activist acted as a lawyer without a law license in her advocacy for critics of large-scale wind and solar power projects before state regulators.
The office announced on Monday it had examined claims against 59-year-old Annette Smith and found them to be without merit. News of the investigation had prompted a public outcry from Smith's supporters and others upset by what they say was a legal action designed to quash free-speech rights.
Smith, a Danby resident, held a news conference Monday at the Statehouse before a crowd of nearly 100 cheering supporters. She sharply criticized Vermont's system for renewing energy projects.
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