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UPDATE: Idaho Anti-Fracking Activist Released After 7-Day Incarceration

"For her to be held without formal charges for that length of time was shocking."

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UPDATE: October 17, 2014

Alma Hasse, the environmental activist who spent seven days behind bars after challenging a Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission, was finally released from the Payette County Jail October 16th, but she'll be returning to the courthouse in November as her legal tangle with county officials advances to trial.

"This is the type of treatment that is usually reserved for terrorists," ACLU of Idaho interim director Leo Morales told Boise Weekly.

Morales was talking about how Hasse was carted off to jail October 9th after speaking up at the P & Z meeting. Hasse was told that the public couldn't speak during the deliberation process while P & Z commissioners were considering an expansion application for a gas processing plant. 

But when Hasse was handcuffed and taken into custody, she chose to exercise her right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. That prompted Payette County Sheriff's deputies to say they would continue to hold her until she cooperated with the booking process. But Hasse remained silent and went on a seven-day hunger strike while a Payette County judge ordered her to be held on a $10,000 bond. 

Ultimately, Payette County released Hasse on her recognizance on Thursday, Octorber 16th. For the record, she was charged with criminal trespass and resisting and obstructing. 

"For her to be held without formal charges for that length of time was shocking," said Morales. "Yes, we're looking into this case."


UPDATE: October 16, 2014

Friends and family of Payette County activist Alma Hasse, who was jailed during a recent meeting of the Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission, have taken to Facebook to post a recent jailhouse video.

According to her family, Hasse has not eaten during the now-seven days of incarceration.

Hasse was arrested Oct. 9 during a public session of the P&Z commission as it was considering a proposed expansion of a gas treatment facility by Alta Mesa, one of the leading players in burgeoning gas exploration operations in Southwest Idaho.

During public testimony in September, Hasse had stated that a California community had an ordinance prohibiting the transportation of gas by rail. But after public testimony was formally ended, P&Z Commissioner Pete Morgan disputed Hasse's statement. That's when Hasse attempted to make a point of order. She was reminded that the hearing had closed and public comments were not allowed during deliberations. When Hasse continued to interject, she was asked to leave the courtroom; and when she refused to leave, she was arrested, charged with trespassing, obstruction and contempt.


ORIGINAL POST: October 13, 2014

Alma Hasse, who has been a vocal and engaged opponent of gas and oil exploration in and around her Payette County home, is behind bars at the Payette County Jail, after being arrested Oct. 9 during a public hearing.

The incident occurred at the Payette County County Courthouse, where the county's Planning and Zoning Commission was considering a proposed expansion of a gas treatment facility by Alta Mesa, one of the leading players in burgeoning gas exploration operations in Southwest Idaho.

The Texas-based Alta Mesa partnered with Idaho-based Snake River Oil and Gas to kick-start natural gas exploration by purchasing a number of wells from Bridge Resources in 2012 after the Canadian-based company liquidated many of its assets in the wake of financial troubles at the height of its 2011 Idaho drilling operations.

During public testimony in September, Hasse had stated that a California community had an ordinance prohibiting the transportation of gas by rail. But after public testimony was formally ended, P&Z Commissioner Pete Morgan disputed Hasse's statement. That's when Hasse attempted to make a point of order. She was reminded that the hearing had closed and public comments were not allowed during deliberations. When Hasse continued to interject, she was asked to leave the courtroom; and when she refused to leave, she was arrested, charged with trespassing, obstruction and contempt.

Hasse's husband Jim says that his wife had refused food over the weekend and was not allowed to have visitors or phone calls.