Naperville Smart Meter Awareness President, Board Member Arrested
Naperville Smart Meter Awareness president Kim Bendis and board member Jennifer Stahl were arrested Wednesday for interfering during a city smart meter installation on Stahl's home.
Updated: Jan. 24, 12:26 p.m.
Naperville Smart Meter Awareness president Malia "Kim" Bendis and group board member Jennifer Stahl were arrested Wednesday for interfering with a city smart meter installation.
City Manager Doug Krieger said the two were arrested around 1:42 p.m. Wednesday for interfering during a meter installation on Stahl's home in the 1400 block of Westglen Drive in Naperville. No one was injured, Krieger said.
According to the city, Bendis, 40, of Naperville, was charged with attempt eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer, both misdemeanors. Stahl, 40, of the 1400 block of Westglen Drive, was charged with interfering with an officer and preventing access to customer's premises, both are city ordinance charges, according to the city of Naperville.
Krieger said the city has more than 99 percent of the 57,000 smart meter installations completed, which the city began installing about a year ago.
"Some people did not opt to accept the smart meter or non-wireless meter alternative that we provided," Krieger said. "Unfortunately, two residents were arrested due to interfering with the installation."
According to the city, all Naperville residents and businesses have the option to opt for a non-wireless meter alternative for a one-time cost of $68.35 as well as a monthly cost of $24.75.
The Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group is comprised of residents who oppose the installation of smart meters on homes, which use an electronic network to transmit information regarding utility use.
The group has cited financial cost of the project, privacy, security and health concerns as cause for the city to stop installation of meters. The group is also seeking injunctive relief in Federal Court.
Two videos were uploaded on the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness YouTube channel on Wednesday showing smart meter installations, one of which shows installers walking over a short locked fence.
According to an email from the group, Bendis was videotaping the smart meter installation on Stahl's home, in the 1400 block of Westglen Drive Wednesday before she was arrested.
Last year, Krieger told the group that the city of Naperville was trying to accommodate residents who do not wish to have the smart meter installed and repeatedly said that the alternative option of a non-wireless meter was available.
At that time, members said that the battle would probably become ugly in the future with arrests taking place if installation continued against the wishes of homeonwers who have asked that the analog meters remain.
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