Trial starts in Naperville ‘smart meter’ case

CrimeTrials and Arbitration
Trial begins for Naperville woman who protested the installation of a “smart meter.”

A DuPage County jury began hearing the misdemeanor case against Malia “Kim” Bendis, who was charged Jan. 23, 2013, while she and Jennifer Stahl, another leader of the group, stood in protest while utility workers installed a meter at Stahl’s Naperville home.

The pair was at the forefront of citizens’ group opposed to the devices, which emit a wireless signal that detractors think present health and privacy concerns.

“We’re here today because Kim Bendis and 150 or so homes in Naperville objected to the installation of smart meters,”  her attorney, Todd Pugh, told jurors in opening statements.

The only witness called Monday before the day’s end was Naperville Police Sgt. Nick Liberio, who ordered the arrest of Bendis for attempted eavesdropping after he observed her shooting video as he and other officers accompanied a crew trying to install a meter at Stahl’s.