AUGUSTA – Legislators and the head of a sportsman’s group are calling for an investigation of the Maine State Police.
Last month, Maine State Trooper George Loder filed a federal lawsuit against the Maine Intelligence and Analysis Center (MIAC), alleging it has been illegally collecting sensitive information from Maine citizens.
“Senator Jeff Timberlake and myself, the two republican whips, are recommending an independent investigation and ongoing review of the Maine Information analysis center that exists under the Department of Public Safety,” Assistant Republican Leader in the Maine House of Representatives Trey Stewart said.
Stewart believes this should be a non-partisan review.
“I know that the democrats wanted to send it to a partisan committee. We don’t think that’s appropriate,” Stewart said. “We think that the non-partisan oversight committee is the best place for it to be because of the sensitivity of it all and the fact that it’s not a partisan issue.”
Attempts to contact Charlotte Warren, a democrat and chairperson of the legislature’s committee on criminal justice and public safety and a spokesperson for Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson failed.
The allegations also say the state police created a registry of gun owners using information from federal background checks of people who were legally purchasing firearms, despite a law passed by the Maine legislature in 2017, making this illegal.
“I found the accusation of creating a registry as not just impacting the state, but that could have federal implications all the way to the FBI,” Executive Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Main David Trahan said.
Trahan said this accusation can be dangerous to state police.
“The troopers that are on the ground, they know nothing of what’s going on,” Trahan said. “They’re out there doing a very tough job, and I’m afraid that this will rub off in a negative way on the state police as a whole.”
Both believe this investigation needs to be done soon.
“It’s important to do this sooner rather than later,” Trehan said. “Get it done. Let people go back to their normal lives with the truth.”
“This is a civil rights issue really,” Stewart said. “It’s a constitutional issue that potentially all Mainers may be effected by it.”