Judge finds Franklin County landowners in contempt, imposes fine

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A federal judge issued an opinion Tuesday finding two Franklin County landowners in contempt of court.

Judge Elizabeth Dillon fined Carolyn and Ian Reilly $1000 each, for supporting tree sitters who have protested the Mountain Valley Pipeline on their property.

In the 18-page opinion, Dillon concluded "the Reillys have offered both material assistance and encouragement to people who are interfering with MVP's ability to conduct its construction activities."

"The court understands that the Reillys and others are disappointed and frustrated with the situation and the results of their opposition thus far," Dillon wrote. "But they have resorted to actions that clearly violate this court's order and MVP's rights under it."

The judge did not sanction Carolyn Reilly's parents, Betty and David Werner, who co-own the property.

And Dillon did not find the tree-sitters in contempt . She said there was insufficient evidence identifying them, or indicating whether anyone who remains in a tree stand received proper notice of the judge's order.