The Coastal Packet: LePage accused of blackmail by House Speaker

Thursday, June 25

LePage accused of blackmail by House Speaker

WCSH - Speaker of the House Mark Eves said  that Gov. Paul LePage abused his power in order to fire him from the position of president of Good Will-Hinckley School.

"He was very explicit in the fact that he was withholding this half million dollars to put at risk two more million dollars in private investment, that the school would have defaulted if the governor did withhold that money. The board made their decision. This type of political vendetta is really out of control. I think the general population and public here in Maine understands that politics is politics, but people's personal lives, you don't mess with," said Eves.

Eves alleges that LePage threatened the Good Will-Hinckley School to either fire him or lose over $500,000 in budgeted state funds and thereby lose another $2,000,000 in private funding. Eves's lawyer David Webbert said they have the threat in writing. Webbert also said he believes they have a good case for monetary damages.

"It is a new, dark day in Maine politics. This is why people hate politics. The governor has stepped outside of the political world into my personal life and my ability to provide for my family. It's extremely upsetting," said Eves.

“It is a new, dark day in Maine politics. This is why people hate politics.” Speaker of the House Mark Eves

Eves had been planning to start the new job as president of Good Will-Hinckley School next week, and he was also becoming President of the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, a charter school on the campus. The Board of Director of the school issued a press release Wednesday afternoon, saying it "has voted to seek a new direction for the institution's leadership. The basis for this decision is grounded in the institution's desire not to be involved in political controversy." Gov. LePage has been trying to stop the board from hiring Eves several weeks ago, saying that Eves didn't "have the skill set."

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