Cianbro and the French Connection

The leading proponents of the East-West Highway, the Cianbro Corporation of Pittsfield, ME and its President and CEO, Peter Vigue, have been collaborating with Malcolm French to erect massive industrial wind turbines along Greenland Ridge overlooking East Grand Lake in Danforth. They have put up meteorological wind towers on Greenland Ridge and persuaded Danforth to change their ordinance to allow building of wind turbines within 3/4mi. of East Grand Lake. However, in September, Malcolm French and his company, Haynes Timberlands, were indicted by a Federal Grand jury in connection with a pot-growing operation in Township 37, Washington County, ME (Big drug bust, high stakes in Down East Maine Portland Press Herald, 9/27/12).

Though the Cianbro Corporation had no connection with the pot growing operation or indictment, the wisdom and motives of any continued partnership between Cianbro and Malcolm French should be called into question. Cianbro entered this collaboration with French despite the fact that they should have known that French and his company, Haynes Timberland, were the owners of Township 37. Land ownership is a matter of public record and is common knowledge to residents. Either Cianbro failed in the most basic task of due diligence in examining the background of a potential partner by uncovering important activities such as French’s ownership of Township 37, or they did know but moved ahead with the collaboration despite this.

As a matter of course, Cianbro asks Mainers to trust them that the East-West Highway is not a boondoggle for them and that they will protect Maine’s natural environment. ( In the article Peter Vigue denies accusations from advocacy groups that they have an ulterior motive for building the East-West Highway such that it is not a front for “creating a utilities corridor” and for “opening up area’s for grid scale wind-power”. However, given this display of poor judgment and their willingness to create an unnecessary industrial wind project that would destroy East Grand Lake (see for visual evidence of this), why wouldn’t reasonable people question trusting their intentions regarding the East-West Highway?

-Matt Small, Keep It Grand