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GMP to Pay Journalist’s Legal Expenses

St. Johnsbury, Vt. (AP) — Green Mountain Power will reimburse a journalist for his legal expenses in defending himself against a trespass charge while covering a protest against construction of a wind power facility on Lowell Mountain.

The charge against Chris Braithwaite, the publisher of the Barton Chronicle, has been dismissed.

The Caledonian Record reports that GMP will pay him $22,500 to settle a civil lawsuit. Braithwaite was arrested Dec. 5, 2011, along with six protesters after they blockaded construction vehicles on a path to the ridgeline where the wind project was being built.

Braitwaite said the payment covers his legal fees and is a fair resolution.

GMP spokeswoman Dottie Schnure said the company is confident it would have prevailed in the lawsuit but says settling was in the best interest of customers.