The Marin County District Attorney's Office decided not file charges against two women who were cited for disobeying police at a SmartMeter protest in Inverness in December said, and one of the women said that the DA was trying to avoid the controversy surrounding the .
Katharina Sandizell said Deputy District Attorney Dorothy Proudfoot told her charges won't be filed now, but she might be prosecuted if she is arrested at another SmartMeter protest during the next year.
"The district attorney doesn't want to deal with SmartMeters in a public way because it's so controversial," Sandizell said.
But District Attorney Ed Berberian rejected that claim, saying it is quite common in minor cases to ask people to appear in court, receive a citation and be directed that if they commit the same crime again, both instances of that crime will be considered by the DA’s office.
“They were told, ‘you should not read into the fact that you are not facing charges as some type of statement about whatever the underlying issue was that led you to the protest,'” Berberian said. “It is simply that in your situation, we are not going to immediately charge you.”
Sandizell, 41, and Kristin McCrory, 32, of Inverness were cited for disobeying a police officer when they failed to get out of the road so traffic could pass at the protest in Inverness Park on Dec. 29, according to the Marin County Sheriff's Office.
The women, who were released at the scene, were among 25 people who were trying to block 10 Wellington Energy trucks on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. PG&E is contracting with Pittsburgh-based Wellington Energy to install the controversial wireless meters in California.
Opponents believe the devices emit unsafe high-intensity microwave radiation and inflate actual energy usage. PG&E has consistently denied the allegations.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors in January on the installation of SmartMeters in Marin County.
Both Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle and Berberian have said the county has no legal means of prohibiting PG&E from installing the meters.
“We don't think the sheriff did anything improper in this instance,” Berberian said. “He did his job.”
Sandizell said this week that the West Marin Citizens Against Wireless Smart Meters wants the sheriff's office to issue citations against PG&E for installing the meters in violation of the ordinance so the issue can "go through the due process in the court system."
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.