After several unsuccessful attempts to find a law enforcement agency willing and able to inquire into the merit of criminal allegations made against Eagle-based energy company Dynamis and Ada County Commissioners, Sheriff Gary Raney and Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower have appointed a retired FBI agent to make an inquiry into this matter.
Leading the inquiry will be Verna R. Kessler, a certified public accountant who retired from the FBI with more than 20 years of experience investigating financial fraud and other crimes.
"I have full confidence Verna will conduct the thorough, objective inquiry necessary to help determine whether there is any evidence of criminal behavior by representatives of Dynamis or Ada County," said Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney in a press release.
Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower added, "We needed to find someone the community would trust and who did not have any political ties to any of the parties involved. Verna's experience and credibility made her the perfect person for the job."
Kessler has been asked to determine if there is cause to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct surrounding a contract between Dynamis Energy LLC and Ada County Commissioners. She will be working under the direction of Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Hiedeman, the special prosecutor appointed to determine if any criminal wrongdoing has occurred.
Kessler's inquiry will begin immediately and is expected to take about two months.
The county has entered a 30-year agreement with Dynamis Energy to build a garbage-fueled energy plant at the landfill that would heat at a high temperature up to 408 tons of trash daily, converting it into gas and then generating 22 megawatts of electricity. The facility would be the Eagle-based company's first waste-to-energy plant and the largest power-producing facility to be built in Ada County since Lucky Peak Dam was completed in 1988.
Dynamis has said it would start construction this month on the $75 million garbage gasifier, which could be eligible for up to 30 percent in federal funding.