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Rebuttal witnesses allowed, at least for now
March 23, 2011 - Jessica Collier
Protect just asked to call three rebuttal witnesses on the boat launch issue: Pete Littlfield and Elaine Yabroudy, a married couple who live on Lake Simond, and Phyllis Thompson, a seasonal who volunteers in the summer at the boat launch as an invasive species lake steward. Thompson will be here in June to testify.
Several people had objections to this. In general, witnesses are only allowed in this proceeding if they offered pre-file testimony, testimony submitted in writing before the hearing, to keep the whole thing streamlined. Preserve Associates, in addition to Kirk Gagnier and John Kopp, and maybe someone else, argued that would open the hearing up to too many witnesses.
Ulasawicz is also concerned that parties shouldn't be allowed to testify like that (all three of them are parties), saying that they will produce a prejudiced record. He also noted that they're not experts.
APA staff said they think it should be OK to allow it this time, but probably not in the future.
O'Connell ruled that he'll allow the witnesses this time. He said they can discuss the issue about how to deal with it in the future during breaks in action. Then he immediately took a break in action, and Van Cott, Ulasewicz, Caffry and Gagnier are discussing the whole thing quite heatedly. O'Connell is watching from his table with relative interest.
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