A national defamation attorney has accused New Energy Economy (NEE) of making false and defamatory remarks against energy giant Avangrid. Elizabeth “Libby” Locke of Virginia-based law firm Clare Rock LLP wrote to NEE Managing Director Marielle Nanashi on May 4, demanding that NEE retract and correct the allegedly false accusations made against Avangrid. Rock is one of the attorneys who helped Dominion Voting Systems win a $787 million settlement against Fox News. In her letter, Locke stated that NEE had wrongfully accused Avangrid and Iberdrola SA of bribing judges during an interview with KSFR Radio’s weekly half-hour show “Retake Our Democracy” on April 14.
Nanashi’s attorney, Christopher Dodd, stated that his client denies defaming Avangrid and that her comments were made in a fraction of a second during the 48-minute interview. Nanashi believed that there were reports that Iberdrola was accused of bribing a judge, but the reports only indicated that Iberdrola was involved in bribery of civil servants in general. NEE is the only party among 24 organizations that intervened in the State Public Regulatory Commission’s case to oppose Avangrid’s proposal to acquire the New Mexico Public Service Company. Since 2021, NEE and advocacy group Retake Our Democracy have led a large-scale opposition movement against the merger, advocating that public services in New Mexico should be taken over by a public authority rather than private organizations like PNM.
NEE has stated that it will not tolerate the “bullying” of the organization by Avangrid and Iberdrola, stating that they are using their power to silence NEE because they are leading efforts to hold them accountable. Rock specializes in high-profile defamation cases and, according to The Paper, won $3 million from Rolling Stone magazine for the University of Virginia after forcing the retraction of an article claiming a rape culture in the fraternity system. Rock suggested that further legal action may be pending.