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SRA Press Release: AEHI CEO Takes Pay Raise Amid Zoning Debate in Payette County

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This was released before the County Commissioners made their decision and describes the Snake River Alliance’s firm position regardless of whether the county was going to grant or deny the rezone.

The Commission unanimously approved the rezone request at 1:30pm today.

Media Release
For Immediate Release
June 21, 2011
10:15am

CONTACT: Liz Woodruff, Snake River Alliance Executive Director
(208) 344-9161
(208) 871-4597 Cell

AEHI CEO Takes Pay Raise Amid Zoning Debate in Payette County

BOISE, ID—While the Payette County Commission entertains a zoning change for would-be nuclear developer Alternate Energy Holdings Inc (AEHI), the company’s CEO, Don Gillispie, who is currently being sued for fraud in federal court by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was just granted a 15 percent pay increase. Mr. Gillispie’s board of directors approved a change in executive compensation for their CEO from $40,000 per month to $46,000 per month on June 10th and posted the information in their 8K form recently filed with the SEC (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1421874/000143774911004035/aehi_8k-061011.htm).

“It is extraordinary that AEHI continues to try to sell its impossible nuclear reactor project by claiming it wants to create jobs in Idaho when the CEO makes more in a month than most Idahoans make in a year” said Liz Woodruff, the executive director of the Snake River Alliance, which has been Idaho’s grassroots nuclear watchdog for over 30 years.

While the Payette County Commission has emphasized that its upcoming decision is only about zoning, the SEC is actively pursuing its case against AEHI for fraud. The SEC first filed charges against AEHI in December 2010. That complaint describes AEHI’s business as a scheme orchestrated by Don Gillispie and his former senior vice-president and secretary, Jennie Ransom, to artificially inflate the price of AEHI’s stock for personal gain.

The SEC complaint reads:

“AEHI and Gillispie have raised millions of dollars from individual investors in Idaho, elsewhere in the U.S., and Asia by making misleading statements about the viability of AEHI, which has no realistic possibility of building a multi-billion dollar nuclear reactor. AEHI has never had any revenue or product.” (http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2010/comp-pr2010-249.pdf)

“Even before the devastating nuclear meltdowns in Japan, AEHI was never equipped to build a reactor in Idaho or anywhere for that matter” explained Woodruff.  “Now, as the nuclear industry reels in the wake of Japan’s ongoing nuclear crisis, projects that were being considered as likely earlier this year are being cancelled. The South Texas reactor project was far along in approval and was scrapped because of economic barriers to development. It is simply absurd that AEHI continues to prey on rural Idaho counties by promising jobs, when it is obvious that its interest is in individual profit through unsavory and allegedly illegal operations” Woodruff concluded.

AEHI started toting their nomad reactor project around Idaho in 2007, first in Owyhee County. In 2009 it held a “Jobs Fair” in Elmore County, promising high paying jobs to locals and collecting hundreds of resumes. By the time the Elmore County Commission rejected AEHI’s proposal in the fall of 2010, Elmore County residents had long given up on AEHI’s false promises.

“Whether the Payette County Commission rezones land for AEHI or not, the company will not be able to build a nuclear reactor there. AEHI is wasting county time and resources and potentially hurting the property values of long-time landowners in the area surrounding the proposed project, just outside of Payette between Big Willow and Little Willow roads,” explained Woodruff.

“The Snake River Alliance will continue to monitor AEHI’s proposal, but we are busy promoting real energy solutions in Idaho’s rural communities through energy efficiency and renewable energy development. If the Payette County Commission doesn’t see AEHI for what it is, then we are confident the SEC charges, coupled with the economic troubles of the nuclear industry as a whole, will put an end to the project” Woodruff said.

An amended pleading deadline in the SEC’s case against AEHI comes in July. The “discovery” deadline in the case is set for November and the trial is scheduled for October 2012.

The Snake River Alliance works for responsible solutions to nuclear waste and a nuclear-free future. It seeks to strengthen Idaho’s economy and communities through the implementation of renewable energy sources in Idaho and the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation.

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