Watchdog panel unanimously approves probe into Good Will-Hinckley funding controversy
By Ramona du Houx
The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee on July 1, 2015 unanimously approved an investigation into allegations that Gov. Paul LePage improperly interfered with Good Will-Hinckley’s employment of House Speaker Mark Eves.
The Speaker had been hired but the Charter School backed out of their agreement because LePage said he would pull state funding from the non-profit, which in turn put other donors donations at risk.
“The strong bipartisan vote in support of this investigation shows how serious these questions are,” said Rep. Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, the House chair of the committee. “We must address any questions about the integrity of our government. We need to shine a light on this matter so Maine people can have confidence in our political system and the officials who should be working on their behalf.”
All 12 members of the committee voted to direct OPEGA to begin its fact-finding investigation into alleged proposed changes in funding for Good Will-Hinckley and their impacts.
The bipartisan, bicameral committee is made up of six Republicans and six Democrats.
Lawmakers in the House agreed.
"The demand for an investigation is intensifying. We speak for our entire caucus when we say we owe it to the people of Maine to do everything we can to restore their trust in our political system. Governor LePage is putting that at risk,” said Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport. “The bottom line is that this isn't the government that Mainers want or deserve. They want honest elected officials who are not only fighting every day to improve the lives of Maine people but also protecting our constitution and the rights we hold dear as Mainers and Americans. It’s the responsibility of all of us in this Legislature to stand together to preserve the integrity of our government and the offices we hold.”
Yesterday, over a hundred protesters showed up at the Capitol in favor of impeaching LePage.