What Really Happens When Something Like The Wind Turbine Lawsuit Is Settled

What Really Happens When Something Like
The Wind Turbine Lawsuit Is Settled
By Susan M. Halpern
Former Addison Councilmember (1992-1999)

Those who would divide us continue their negative spin about the settlement of the wind turbine lawsuit.  Their willingness to attack the current council no matter they say or do is so very unfortunate, but it’s our reality.  This week, they quoted some alleged CIA slogan by way of suggesting conspiracy theories in connection with the settlement.  It is absurd and they are simply wrong.

Preparing settlement documentation takes time.  The documents are critical, and we lawyers have to get them right.  There are many factors involved.  Complicated settlements can challenge the drafting ability of even the best lawyers.  Sometimes, a stubborn opposing counsel delays things by resisting documentation even though it is clearly proper.  Sometimes, the other party just needs some time to gather the money to pay the settlement amount.  The courts fully understand these issues.  So, when a court receives an announcement of “settled,” it removes the case from the trial docket, but neither demands nor expects the immediate submission of final documents.  It’s just how it works.

Here, the payment of money may be part of the issue.  It’s right there in the email quoted by the negative spinners, but they left this part out.  The email exchange started with notification from the court reporter that Judge Goldstein wanted confirmation of the settlement via email.  Addison’s attorney, John Sloan, provided that confirmation, adding to his email: “I would appreciate a month to file dismissal documents, as I am not certain how quickly payment can be made for the settlement.”  The reference to payment is obviously great news for Addison.

Should we be surprised that the quoted portion of John Sloan’s email was omitted from the wild conspiracy piece published by the negative folks?  Probably not.  Omitting context is what they do.  Should we be outraged?  Sure.  It’s one thing to fairly debate truthfully presented issues; it’s quite another to misrepresent the facts, omit necessary context, and deceive people as a way of attacking those who try to do good for our community.  That’s not discussion, that’s propaganda.

In this case, I would expect documents to be finalized soon.  They’ve had a month, which indicates to me that they are having drafting issues.  If they can’t resolve them soon, they should consider other options, like involving a mediator or other third party to help with the process.

In the meantime, don’t buy into wild conspiracy theories.  The negative folks will spin them forever and a day.  It’s up to us to remain vigilant and never forget that this is the same group that continually supported the divisive, dictatorial tactics of the ex-mayor, whose stock in trade was secrecy, deceit and misinformation.  That means that we must work hard to seek out the facts, expose the deceit, correct the misrepresentations, provide the context, and present the TRUTH.  Because TRUTH in Addison will keep us on the road to a positive future.

Addison deserves nothing less than that.  It is the Addison Way.  In the meantime, I continue to reserve judgment on the settlement of the wind turbine lawsuit until I hear its terms.