cinco de mayo

A little late posting.  We were out celebrating our favorite faux Mexican holiday.

Wolfeboro spent the morning cross examining Bill Brown, President and CEO of Wright Pierce.  Ms. Cull started out attempting to challenge that Wright Pierce is using Mr. Brown as the spokesperson for Wright Pierce.  Seems like they want to  get another shot at Peter Atherton and others.  WP objected at the bench and the matter was dropped.

Mr. Brown was probably the last WP witness they are likely to see on the stand.  In their haste to dig up some fraud dirt they called all the WP people themselves.  WP’s lawyers had the chance to get what testimony they needed on cross examination.  Now Wolfeboro has only the WP experts left, and they cannot do anything to help the fraud allegations.

Mr. Brown held up well to questioning.  Ms. Cull kept hammering on the March overloading issue, and Mr. Brown kept providing the same rationale for WP’s actions.  Finally, the judge ordered her to move on.

Eventually the question was asked if WP had ever offered a plan for remediation.  Mr. Brown had had enough.  He responded that the question was disingenuous and launched into an account of the WP-Wolfeboro standoff that the court stenographer couldn’t keep up with.  Everybody except the jury knows about the Haley and Aldrich remediation plan that Wolfeboro has managed to suppress from the case.  It’s one thing to keep WP from bringing it up, and another to accuse them of not providing one.

When he finished his chronology of events, the judge asked him how much WP estimated it would cost to fix the site.  He said $1.2 million on the outside.  I really don’t think that’s a good sign for Wolfeboro.

After Mr. Brown, WP brought up Richard Moore, one of their expert witnesses.  Mr. Moore has 45 years experience as a wastewater engineer.  He is a Vietnam veteran, was president of a large wastewater engineering firm, has built “dozens” of wastewater facilities, designed RIB systems, and published texts on groundwater modeling.

As expected, and without getting into the details, he testified that WP did everything right.  He said the thing can be remediated.  He was very straightforward and credible.  When questioned about the 600,000 gallon per day issue, he said the whole question is academic because the town simply doesn’t produce anything close to 600,000 gallons per day.  He stated that our annual average is more like 400,000 gallons per day.  Why would WP caution the town not to exceed 600,000 gpd when they cannot physically produce that much?  It does seem to make sense.

Tomorrow we will see what Ms. Cull can do to discredit him on cross examination.

At this point, it looks to me as if the town is struggling to make a basic standard of care case, and struggling to show that not all of the damage was done by the April overloading.  Maybe I’m just too close to the details and can’t see the alternate universe the town seems to be living in.

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