Tom Dunnwald in the news!

February 18th, 2011

Just the kind of press we all love, getting ejected from a hearing for calling the other side on their “crap.” In a criminal case, the prosecutor is required to turn over everything they’ve got against the defendant. The prosecutor hasn’t, and yet the judge seems to think it’s OK to go forward without it, and that it’s a problem to object.  EH???? So there’s Tom, defending his client and their right to get the info, and the judge is telling him to shut up.  AND THEN THE PHONE RINGS!!!  Oh great… (hope the phone tune was a good one!)

Back at Clean Water Action, I learned from exchanging spitballs in board meetings that Dunnwald has an attitude a lot like mine, and he’s had some great legal successes in the shit-strewn land use area of feedlots. And he represented my buddy Victor in the Northfield shit-storm mess.  Yes, there’s a theme.  And he’s one of the few attorneys I’d recommend.  That’s Tom Dunnwald, partner of the equally talented Sonja Peterson, hence Dunnwald & Peterson!


Here’s the article about yesterday’s hearing, it was copied in the STrib.


Attorney’s outburst halts hearing

February 17, 2011

By Dan Nienaber The Mankato Free Press
Thu Feb 17, 2011, 08:20 PM CST

MANKATO — A court hearing scheduled for an alleged drug dealer came to a quick end Thursday when his attorney was kicked out of the courtroom.

It didn’t take long for tension to build during the hearing for 32-year-old Cedric Lamont Berry. He is facing racketeering and drug charges for allegedly using gang connections to sell cocaine in Mankato. He was one of several people arrested after a Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force investigation last fall.

District Court Judge Kurt Johnson showed his first sign of irritation when Berry’s attorney, Thomas Dunnwald, said he wasn’t ready to argue his motion. Dunnwald said he wasn’t getting the evidence he needed from Chris Rovney, assistant Blue Earth County attorney.

A task force report was short dozens of pages that had been turned over to attorneys working for other defendants in the case, Dunnwald said. He also said he was waiting for a recorded interview Berry had with Hennepin County investigators, which took place after Berry’s arrest in Minneapolis.

Dunnwald’s argument came to an abrupt halt when his cell phone received a call. And Johnson just stared as the phone played its tune. After fumbling through his jacket pocket for a few seconds, Dunnwald eventually silenced the digital music.

Things got worse after Johnson asked Rovney to explain why Dunnwald hadn’t been given the information he needed. Rovney was explaining that the recording, which allegedly includes Berry saying he can sell large amounts of cocaine, isn’t clear. Rovney said he would provide a copy of the DVD after the sound is enhanced.

“The defendant is a mumbler,” Rovney said.

Dunnwald stood up, waived his arm toward Rovney and barked at Johnson.

“This is utter crap,” he said. “Never in court have I seen this.”

As a bailiff made his way toward the attorney, Johnson told him to calm down.

“Mr. Dunnwald, sit down and be quiet or I will have a bailiff remove you,” Johnson said.

Dunnwald said he would remove himself. Johnson said he should.

“Are you ordering me out?”

“I’m ordering you out. Go ahead.”

Once Dunnwald was gone, Johnson told Rovney to turn over a copy of the recording as soon as possible. Rovney said this isn’t the first time the two attorneys have butted heads while on opposite sides of a case.

Johnson said they needed to find a way to get along before ending the hearing.

“It’s not Mr. Berry’s fault that you two don’t get along,” he said.


EEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAA!  A big stake in its slimy little heart…

Hot off the press from Sierra Club and Clean Water Action, who have been working tirelessly against Otter Tail Power’s Big Stone II coal plant, the Big Stone II air permit is upende

Big Stone II – EPA Objection to Air Permit

Here’s their press release in toto:



Virginia Cramer, Sierra Club 804-519-8449
Darrell Gerber, Clean Water Action 612-802-5372

Date: January 23, 2009

Big Stone II Sent Back to the Drawing Board
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Concerned About Pollution, Global Warming

Washington, DC – Less than three days after the Bush Administration left office, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has overturned the State of South Dakota’s approval of the massive Big Stone II coal-fired power plant.  The EPA’s decision comes after the state failed to require state-of-the-art pollution controls for the coal plant that would address concerns about harmful soot, smog and global warming pollution.

“This is a great day not only for clean energy and people’s health, it’s a victory for the rule of law,” said Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s Move Beyond Coal Campaign. “EPA is signaling that it is back to enforcing longstanding legal requirements fairly and consistently nationwide,” added Nilles.

As the first major coal plant decision by the EPA since President Obama took office, this decision signals that the dozens of other coal plant proposals currently in permitting processes nationwide will face a new level of federal scrutiny. Sierra Club and Clean Water Action have been working to stop the Big Stone II project and ramp up clean energy investments in for more than three years.

“Today EPA took the first step toward restoring science and integrity to its work and recognizing the very real need to reduce air pollution from coal-fired power plants,” said Darrell Gerber, Clean Water Action Program Coordinator.  “Downwind residents and the region’s natural resources will be better protected.”

This decision likely spells the end of Otter Tail Power’s Big Stone II coal plant.  While for the past eight years the Bush Administration has refused to regulate global warming pollution, even after being ordered to do so by the US Supreme Court, President Obama has pledged that the US will cut global warming pollution and do its part to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. With coal-fired power plants accounting for almost 30% of our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, burning less coal and investing in clean energy such as wind and solar instead is a common sense approach to helping meet global warming pollution reduction goals. The proposed Big Stone II 500-megawatt coal plant would have emitted more than 4 million tons of global pollution annually.

At a minimum, Otter Tail Power will have to go back to the drawing board and redesign the project to incorporate the best and maximum available control technology for pollution like soot and smog.  Sierra Club and Clean Water Action will be pushing for EPA to set limits also for carbon dioxide, the main contributor to global warming.

“Otter Tail Power will now have to be responsible for the cost of its pollution,” said Nilles. “We hope that this increasing cost of coal will encourage Otter Tail Power, along with Governors Pawlenty and Rounds, to harness the clean and affordable wind resources available in the region. Minnesota and South Dakota should be leaders on the path to renewable energy independence, not laggards proposing 19th century coal plants.”


Now, can we get them to end Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project?