Recent Stories

Rep. Martin had problems paying off taxes and loans from two government agencies

Just as state Rep. John Martin, one of the most powerful Maine politicians of the last three decades, is emerging from the bankruptcy of the convenience store he co-owns, along comes another financial problem.
And this one has a new wrinkle – this time the back debt is to a government agency. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Martin, partner buy back bankrupt store for less than half of the debt

Bald Eagle Store

The federal bankruptcy court has allowed State Rep. John Martin and a partner to buy back their Eagle Lake convenience store for $125,000 even though they owe almost $300,000 to a variety of creditors, including the IRS. Martin, a Democrat, has been a power in state government going back to the 1960s. He was speaker of the house an unprecedented 10 terms and currently serves on the committee with oversight of the state’s $6 billion budget. He is running for reelection from House District 1, which includes Eagle Lake and Fort Kent. While some creditors may be paid in full and others in part, some may not be paid at all, depending on a report from the trustee appointed by the court half way through the court proceedings. Continue Reading →

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Martin sponsors bill for Irving mining while owing $250,000 to another Irving company

Rep. John Martin

AUGUSTA — State Rep. John Martin is sponsoring a bill that would make it easier for the Canadian-based Irving family to mine for valuable minerals on a Maine mountain at the same time he is negotiating a $250,000 bankruptcy debt with an Irving-family oil business. Martin, a Democrat, is the co-owner of Bald Eagle convenience store in his hometown of Eagle Lake, which Irving Oil Marketing says in bankruptcy filings is $250,000 in debt for gas and diesel deliveries and related charges. Martin acknowledges $150,000 of that debt, but said there is “absolutely” no conflict between owing one Irving company money and his legislation to rewrite the state’s mining laws that would benefit another Irving company. The bill was prompted by the J. D. Irving Company, which is the co-owner of Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. Geological studies have shown the mountain, in an area Martin has represented in the legislature, contains significant deposits of gold, silver, copper and other minerals. Continue Reading →

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Nutting property sales off-limits in pharmacy bankruptcy

The brick building on Main Street in Oakland that housed True’s Pharmacy was purchased by Robert and Wendy Nutting in 1997 for $174,000. Eight years later, it was sold for $260,000 — an $86,000 increase. The pharmacy, owned by Robert Nutting, Maine’s new Speaker of the House, went through bankruptcy proceedings between 2004 and 2006, after the state said the pharmacy owed the state and federal government $1.6 million in overpayments for adult diapers, gloves and other items.

But not one penny of that $86,000 went to pay back the money that the pharmacy owed taxpayers. That’s because the owner of the pharmacy, Robert Nutting, had the building in the name of him and his wife, not in the name of the pharmacy — and under bankruptcy laws, the state had no claim on the building or the proceeds of its sale. Nutting and his wife, Wendy, got to keep those proceeds. Continue Reading →

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Documents show how incoming Speaker Nutting inflated Medicaid charges more than $1 million

AUGUSTA — In 2001, True’s Pharmacy in Oakland, owned by incoming Speaker of the House Robert Nutting, bought medical gloves for $4.39 per package. By the time True’s sold them to a Medicaid provider, the price had gone up to $11.11. That markup — 153 percent — was much more than was allowed by Maine’s Medicaid program, known as MaineCare, which requires only a 40 per cent mark up. Nutting contended in state hearings that his use of a different formula to calculate the markup — a formula which put more money in his pocket — was the accepted method. Although the state ruled its Medicaid formula — not Nutting’s — should have been followed, the state said that even if it allowed Nutting’s formula, True’s still “overcharged MaineCare 100% of the time …” Continue Reading →

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