The Government Oversight Committee exposed more evidence of how Governor Paul LePage lost Speaker Mark Eves his job at Good Will-Hinckley
The following is the statement of attorney for Speaker Mark Eves regarding the GOC hearing November 12, 2015:
The testimony today before the Government Oversight Committee of the Maine Legislature provided even more proof that:
- Governor LePage blackmailed Good Will-Hinckley to fire Speaker Eves without cause as its new President, and
- Mark Eves was hired because he was the most qualified candidate for the job.
Greg Powell testified under oath that on June 8, 2015 the Governor told him that he would no longer support GWH with Speaker Eves as its President. Powell further testified that he quickly realized that this withdrawal of support included the budgeted state funding of about $500,000 in each of the next two years.
Similarly, the Governor’s own policy advisor, Aaron Chadbourne , testified under oath that on June 8, 2015, the Governor told Chadbourne and Acting Education Commission Tom Desjardins that they would not be giving GWH any more discretionary funding in the budget but only what was required by law.
The testimony of Rich Abramson, who was the Acting President of GWH, added to the mountain of evidence that the Speaker was chosen solely because he was the most qualified candidate and not because of his party affiliation. Aaron Chadbourne testified that the Governor has admitted that Rich Abramson was highly qualified to run GWH and so his testimony about the Speaker’s excellent qualifications is especially credible.
It remains clear that after extensive interviews of Mark Eves and the other two top candidates, the seven-member Senior Leadership Team of GWH unanimously recommended that Speaker Eves be selected as the new President because he was the most qualified.
As the OPEGA report found:
Following the campus visits, the GWH Senior Leadership Team recommended only the Speaker for the Board’s consideration. The Senior Leadership Team’s memo to the Search Committee was very clear, specific and thoughtful in its assessments of all three of the candidates and the reasons for its recommendation. In making its recommendation, the Senior Leadership Team noted that: the Speaker’s interview was impressive, authentic and believable; his leadership style and polished approach made the entire group feel comfortable and at ease; his extensive clinical experience would put him at an advantage with GWH’s population; his skill set presented the best balance of executive administration and fund raising experience; and he would make a great impression on the constituents of GWH and be an ideal face of GWH. The Senior Leadership Team also noted that the Speaker’s network of connections could bring opportunities to GWH, but he would likely need some guidance with respect to development and advancement. One concern of great significance to the Team, however, was the Speaker’s geographic proximity to GWH and willingness to relocate either on or near campus. The Team noted that the Speaker never really committed to the idea, but did say it was an option for consideration.
Interviews with other Search Committee and Board members confirmed that the Speaker was seen as very articulate and his answers to questions in interviews were clear and relevant. They noted he had a very good presence and they liked his approach more than the other candidates. He also was seen as having broader, general experience and more of what they were looking for in leadership and fundraising.
It was the unanimous GWH Board who then made the final decision to hire Mark Eves, and it is especially noteworthy that the Chair of the Board is a Republican, and that many other Board members are not Democrats.