Mine development the backdrop to legal warfare

AnchorageMay 18, 2013 

California arbitration

Robert Kaplan sought arbitration in 2009 to recover fees and commissions he said were owed to his company by backers of the 2008 Clean Water initiative. He lost and was told to pay millions to his former clients.

Arbitration side case, U.S. District Court

In June 2009, Kaplan asked a federal court in Los Angeles to add Art Hackney, Hackney's business, Bob Gillam and the Renewable Resources Foundation into the arbitration case in which he claimed he was owed money. He already was pursuing initiative supporters Alaskans for Clean Water Inc., and the Renewable Resources Coalition. All but Gillam were brought into the case. The arbitration decision, with Hackney and the coalition the winners, became public last year as part of this case.

Suit against Pebble, L.A. Superior Court

The Renewable Resources Coalition sued Kaplan, various Pebble business entities and Pebble's law firm in 2011, accusing Kaplan of selling internal, confidential and damaging documents from the coalition to the Pebble Partnership. A judge dismissed the case under a state law barring SLAPP (for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) cases. The judge said because Pebble's lawyers used the documents to file a complaint of illegal campaign activities with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the records weren't protected as confidential. The coalition is appealing.

Los Angeles bankruptcy

In December 2011, Kaplan filed for bankruptcy protection. His biggest creditors were Hackney and the Renewable Resources Coalition. The bankruptcy trustee found he had no assets with which to pay them. Meanwhile, Hackney and the coalition argue that the debts cannot be wiped away. The judge hasn't yet ruled.

APOC challenge, Anchorage Superior Court

In November, Bob Gillam sued APOC executive director Paul Dauphinais and chairwoman Elizabeth Hickerson, accusing them of a vendetta against him and trying to keep them from handling a pending complaint against him. The complaint accuses him of campaign violations in support of the 2011 Save Our Salmon ballot initiative in the Lake and Peninsula Borough. The APOC case is on hold, pending a decision in his suit.

Save Our Salmon suit, Anchorage Superior Court

A group called Alaskans for Bristol Bay Inc., bankrolled by Gillam, pushed a 2011 Lake and Peninsula Borough ballot measure to forbid granting permits to a big mine that could damage salmon streams. The measure passed, but Pebble and the state are trying to get the court to strike it down.

Voting residency challenge, Alaska Supreme Court

The Lake and Peninsula Borough has appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court an October decision by Anchorage Superior Court John Suddock that said Gillam and four others are qualified registered voters in the borough. Gillam and the others were barred from voting in the 2011 borough election, when the Save Our Salmon initiative was on the ballot.

Suit over Bristol Bay Forever initiative, Fairbanks Superior Court

An initiative proposed for the August 2014 primary election ballot would require the Legislature to approve any big mine within the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve, which includes the Pebble prospect. Mining interests sued to keep it off the ballot. The state and a group of Bristol Bay residents are defending the initiative.

 

 

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