Charges dismissed against Naperville woman in smart meter dispute

Charges have been dismissed against one of two Naperville women who stood in the way of crews attempting to install wireless, electronic smart meters on their homes in January 2013.

According to an agreement reached Tuesday, city officials agreed not to prosecute Jennifer Stahl of the 1400 block of Westglen Drive on two ordinance violation citations for interfering with a police officer and preventing crews from accessing her home.

A DuPage County judge signed off on the agreement Wednesday.

As part of the deal, Stahl admitted guilt to the violations, agreed to perform more than 40 hours of community service for a not-for-profit group and agreed not to violate any federal, state or local laws.

“I'm pleased that with this agreement, (Stahl) has accepted responsibility for her actions on Jan. 23, 2013,” City Prosecutor Michael DiSanto said. “We think this is the appropriate sentence for someone willing to take responsibility for her actions. We have had no issues with (Stahl) since her arrest and I don't anticipate we will have any more moving forward.”

Neither Stahl nor representatives of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group could be reached Wednesday for comment.

A second Naperville woman, Malia “Kim” Bendis of the 2200 block of Mercer Court, still faces misdemeanor charges of attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer in connection with the smart meter flap. Her case is still pending in DuPage County Court.

Both women are members of the group that filed a federal lawsuit against the city regarding their beliefs that the wireless meters will affect health, security and privacy. Several members and supporters of the group flooded a Feb, 5, 2013, city council meeting calling for the charges against both women to be dropped and for the resignation of both the city manager and police chief.

The city has since installed smart meters on more than 57,000 homes. Officials have maintained the project will make the city's electric system more reliable and cost efficient.

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