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Turbine charges dismissed

LORDSTOWN – Stanley Zoldan beat city hall.

Or, at least, the misdemeanor criminal charges filed against the councilman for cutting power to the twin wind turbines outside of the village’s administration building for 30 minutes was dismissed Friday in Niles Municipal Court.

In April 2011, Zoldan cut the power for the wind turbines because he believed their operation was unsafe. He said final inspections by Trumbull County had not been conducted.

“I’m glad this is over,” Zoldan said Tuesday. “I feel vindicated, and I’m glad nobody was hurt.”

The councilman estimates the amount of power that would have been generated during the half hour it was off was about 4 cents. Zoldan based his estimate on a 6-month study on the kilowatts produced by the turbines from July through December.

According to the wind turbine monthly production report, the turbines generated approximately 3,911 kilowatt hours of power during that time.

“That is approximately $391 worth of power generated,” Zoldan said.

Zoldan, at the time, argued that if someone had been electrocuted, the village would have been responsible.

“I feel that when the mayor filed the complaint against me, somewhere along the line, the prosecutor was mislead into thinking I shut down the whole administration building,” Zoldan said. “I did not. I only shut down the fuse box that operated the turbines.

“After it was proven they were not inspected, Ohio Edison came down and had them shut down until they were inspected.”

Reached at home Tuesday, former mayor Michael Chaffee responded, ”I never had any conversation with the prosecutor, so that would be impossible (that I mislead him). My statement is public record. I followed the advice of our counsel through the whole procedure.”