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Judge: Ethan Strimling can get a jury trial after alleged retaliatory eviction

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling - FILE IMAGE
Ed Morin
/
Maine Public file
Ethan Strimling in 2015.

A judge has ruled that former Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling is entitled to a jury trial in a case involving his eviction from his apartment building.

Strimling argued that he was evicted in May 2021 as retaliation for helping organize tenants of Portland's Trelawney building, which is managed by Geoffrey Rice. A judge initially rejected that argument in April and said that Rice could evict Strimling.

But Strimling appealed. And in a judgment last week, Justice John O'Neil Jr. negated Strimling's eviction and agreed to send the case to a jury trial.

O'Neil wrote that correspondence suggests that Rice's decision to evict Strimling was "reached, at least in part," on communication from the tenants union.

In a statement, Strimling's lawyer said, "we look forward to bringing this case to trial" and are confident that a jury will agree with them.