March 6, 2012 —
Roy Howard and Jeryl Abramson were acquitted by a Bethel jury of nine misdemeanor charges related to their promotion of a special event on their land, with camping, for last year’s Phish concert. Eight of the charges pertained to violations of the terms of temporary camping permits, and one said that they had posted a sign without permission.
According to the town, the camping permits granted to Howard and Abramson had allowed no more than five tents per parcel. The couple’s attorney, Russell Schindler, said that the actual wording on the permits was “no more than 4 or more,” and that this verbiage allowed unlimited camping.
Fines associated with the charges would have amounted to about $7,000 if the couple had been found guilty, according to town supervisor Daniel Sturm. In another, different case, the town sought a payment of $25,000 in state supreme court. The town won that case, and Howard and Abramson have filed an appeal to the appellate court, which is pending.