State of Ethics

Recent Stories

LePage killed ethics reform bill that would bar legislators from paying themselves, family members with PAC money

Money, money

A bill that would have tightened up regulations that allowed a Sanford legislator to pay himself and family members from a political action committee (PAC) he controlled was killed in late June by a veto by Gov. Paul LePage, which the Maine Senate failed to override. Continue Reading →

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Memo: LePage inserted himself in religious discrimination case against Moody’s Diner

Gov. Paul LePage — Photo Robert F. Bukaty, BDN

Gov. Paul LePage inserted himself into a state law enforcement proceeding about a religious discrimination case and threatened to go to court if the legal process was not postponed, according to an internal memo.

The governor, however, said he was not interfering, but only trying to make sure there was no “ethical breach” in the case involving an audio recording he had been told was edited. Continue Reading →

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Time Warner made its case to legislators at luxury resort

The dining room at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth

Time Warner, the state's largest internet provider, has wined and dined legislators at the opening of this year's session in hopes of thwarting legislation that would make it easier for cities and towns who want faster internet connections to become broadband providers themselves. The wining and dining was done at an overnight event at a luxury Cape Elizabeth resort and takes place in the context of Time Warner's nationwide battle against such local efforts to get faster internet. Continue Reading →

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Sanford senator used PAC money to pay himself and family $17,000

Sen. John Tuttle, Jr., (D) Sanford.  Photo:  Maine Senate Democrats

A veteran state legislator has used a campaign fund designed to help other Democratic candidates run for office to buy tires, pay for car repairs, reimburse himself for travel and pay his wife and daughter for computer services and keeping his books. Continue Reading →

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LePage, utilities commissioner at odds over ethics

David Littell, PUC commissioner

Gov. Paul LePage has rejected Public Utilities Commissioner David Littell's decision to recuse himself from voting on a case involving bottled water giant Nestle Waters and the Fryeberg Water Co. Littell claims he has a conflict of interest because he previously worked at a Portland law firm that represented Nestle and the water company. Lepage says that isn't enough to disqualify him for voting on the case. Continue Reading →

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Sen. Jackson’s bill designed to help local man avoid fines for lake development

Pelletier home, Long Lake, November 2011

State Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, a candidate for Congress, tried to get a billed passed in the current legislative session to reverse a state fine and settlement against a constituent who had bulldozed 200 feet of vegetation along a shoreline where he had built a three-bedroom home. The bill was killed in committee when the state attorney general's office questioned its constitutionality. Continue Reading →

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Bethel lawmaker’s bill aims to wipe away ethical ‘shame’

AUGUSTA — Urging his fellow lawmakers to set “an ethical course for all legislators,” Bethel Rep. Jarrod Crockett Wednesday introduced a bill to require a one-year waiting period between leaving the legislature and working as a lobbyist.

Crockett said his bill is a response to a 2012 national watchdog group report that gave Maine an “F” for its lack of rules and laws to deter corruption in government. Continue Reading →

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Ethics getting statehouse attention, prompted by ‘F’ in national study

Michael Cianchette, delivering testimony on behalf of Gov. LePage

If you’re paid to regulate widgets for the state of Maine, then you shouldn’t be able to take a new job working for widget makers.

That’s what Ann Luther, board member of the League of Women Voters of Maine, told legislators on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee Wednesday in a hearing on a bill that would stop the so-called “revolving door.” The bill would make it unlawful for executive branch officials to leave their state job and go directly to work for an industry they regulated.
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Official’s use of US and GOP funds to buy a camper was kept under wraps

Charlie Webster, photo Portland Press Herald

Phil Roy wanted a camper. It cost $15,000, but he didn’t have the money. What Roy did have was access to cash – someone else’s cash. Roy, the longtime Republican politician from Somerset County, managed a federally funded agency’s checking account as well as the checking account of the state Republican Party, where he was treasurer. So in August of 2009, Uncle Sam and the Maine GOP bought Roy the camper. Continue Reading →

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