Judge: Retaliation aim of lawsuit

The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction): A Delta County judge has doubled down on a previous judgment against an energy firm in its suit against a Paonia activist, declaring that the suit is frivolous and was filed to retaliate against the industry critic.

District Court Judge Steven Schultz issued his latest ruling this week in finding that SG Interests owes Pete Kolbenschlag attorney fees in connection with defending himself from the libel suit brought by the company.

SG Interests sued Kolbenschlag over comments he made on the Glenwood Springs Post Independent newspaper website on an article about the company. He had written that SG was “fined for colluding … to rig bid prices and rip off American taxpayers.” He was referring to the fact that SG and Gunnison Energy agreed to pay more than $1 million between them in a 2013 settlement after the Justice Department said they colluded in illegal bidding for federal oil and gas leases.

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