May 28, 2020

Novak faces subpoena; Wind farm targets private emails

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff writer | Marion County Record | May 28, 2020 |

After unsuccessfully trying to get copies of commissioner Dianne Novak’s personal emails with an open records request, a wind farm concerned about her possible role in aiding its opponents says it will subpoena those emails from her directly.

Expedition Wind last month filed a lawsuit seeking more than $35 million from Peabody farmer Randy Eitzen and five other defendants. The defendants are plaintiffs who did not withdraw from a lawsuit filed last August against the county.

Although Novak is not a defendant in the lawsuit, the company filed an open records request April 22 seeking all of her computer and telephone records relating to land use, zoning, wind energy, Expedition Wind, and its predecessor companies.

Novak hired a lawyer to fight the request for personal communications.

Documents provided by the county show a majority of the items that originally were on the county’s email system were forwarded to Novak’s personal email address.

The subpoena, which has not yet been served, demands a long list of items from Novak’s personal records. Included are:

The subpoena specifically seeks documents sent, written, or received in any manner, including handwritten notes, emails, recordings, faxes, texts, charts or tabulations, photographs, telephone records, text records, postings on social media, or any other type of records.

“I heard through the grapevine of the intent to subpoena me,” Novak said in response. “The fact of the matter is, it would be ridiculous to do so since I have nothing to do with this lawsuit, no relevance at all!

“It would appear to me as though a fishing expedition is going on. If Expedition Wind does decide to subpoena me, my guess would be it’s because they are disappointed that the law did not allow them to get into any of my personal business with the KORA request, they submitted a few weeks ago.

“Or maybe their goal is simply to assassinate my character. Either way I will not be intimidated nor bullied.”

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