An Update On The Environmental Scientist Caught On Video Faking Data; Now With A Kennedy Connection

Last month we brought you an exclusive piece on Dr. Ann Maest, a managing environmental scientist at Straus Consulting, who was caught on tape agreeing to ignore her data on groundwater contamination and make a more damning, unsubstantiated assertion. That video evidence was analyzed by several science blogs, including Watts Up With That?, and the consensus was that Dr. Maest had committed a pretty serious ethical lapse and possibly even a criminal act.

One must wonder what her possible motivation could be to so easily be played by plaintiff lawyer Steven Donziger. The New York Post this week may have stumbled upon the most likely explanation – Donziger was paying off and cutting supporters in on a possible multi-billion dollar judgment. The Post found that Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, was on Donziger’s payroll and was given a stake in the judgment.

[Kennedy] the human-rights activist penned opinion pieces and lobbied officials to voice her outrage at the damage oil companies have caused to the town of Lago Agrio, where 1,700 square miles of rain forest have been destroyed and people sickened.

What Kennedy has never mentioned during her campaign is that she is being paid handsomely for her seemingly selfless advocacy.

Kennedy, 52, was secretly hired as a “public-relations consultant” by the lawyer representing the Ecuadoreans in an $18 billion lawsuit against Chevron, according to court documents.

Cashing in on her respected family name and legacy, Kennedy raked in tens of thousands of dollars and was given a 0.25 percent stake – worth as much as $40 million – if the $18 billion judgment handed down by an Ecuadorean judge is ultimately upheld.

Given that doling out stakes in the judgment was standard operating procedure, one can only guess what stake Straus and Dr. Maest have in the case, given their involvement in ghostwriting the damages report filled by a supposedly neutral “global expert,” who was in fact a dupe for Donziger. That might explain her actions in video from the original post, shown below.

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