AUGUSTA – The State Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee is learning more about Governor Paul LePage’s influence and role in the firing of Mark Eves.
The Good Will Hinckley Board unanimously, choosing, the speaker of the house to be the school’s new president, then Eves, getting fired, before his first day on the job.
Good Will Hinckley chairman Jack Moore “The note said ‘Good Will Hinckley Board chair Jack Moore told the government oversight committee in the note, the governor wrote two derogatory words about Mark Eves, the person hired to be the school’s next president.’ “
“One of them was scribbled out. But he did refer to him as a hack.” Jack Moore, Good Will Hinckley Chairman. Moore says even though he threw the note away, he knows exactly what it said and what it meant.
“He was pretty darn clear that what happened here was that they decided unanimously on their board to hire the speaker; that the governor made it clear that if they did that, state funding was going to be pulled.” Sen. Roger Katz ®, Chair of Govt. Oversight Committee
In fact, the Education Department did withhold the first quarter payment to Good Will Hinckley. The loss of those state funds then jeopardized the school’s larger source of funding, the Alfond Foundation. Moore says the board had no choice but to fire Eves.
Good Will Hinckley chairman Jack Moore “We were focused on fulfilling our fiduciary duties. And we would not have been doing that if we were to go down the road leading to a series of defaults.”
OPEGA director Beth Ashcroft told the committee the governor’s acting education commissioner, Tom Desjardin, offered several reasons why the payment to Good Will Hinckley was stopped. The governor telling him to do so was not one of those reasons.
“It is clear that Governor LePage and his administration are stonewalling the committee and its investigation.” Rep. Jeff Evangelos (I), Friendship
The governor and his top advisor have refused to testify before the committee.
“We can’t just say ‘oh, ok’ when the governor says he doesn’t want to talk to us.” Rep. Chuck Kruger (D), Co-Chair Govt. Oversight Committee
A number of Maine citizens had a few choice words of their own for Governor LePage, and some even called for his impeachment.
“The governor is acting more like a dictator than a governor. If you don’t do what he wants you to, you pay the price.” SHelen Rankin, Former State Legislator
“I’m here today to request that you initiate impeachment proceedings against our Governor, Paul LePage.” Brian Hodges, Vasselboro
The chairs of the government oversight committee told us we’re a long way from talking about impeachment.
But they say they want the truth about what was done and why.