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Politics

LePage’s Top Lawyer Advised He Had More Time to Veto Bills

By Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s former top lawyer gave advice that caused him to miss his opportunity to veto 65 bills.

Documents released by LePage’s office following a Freedom of Access Act request by The Associated Press reveal he’d been preparing to veto a slew of bills by their July 2015 deadlines until staffers changed course after an email from then-chief legal counsel Cynthia Montgomery, who’s now a state judge.

In a June 29 email Montgomery said a 1981 Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruling indicated LePage had more time to veto the bills.

The court eventually concluded the governor goofed and the bills had become law over his objection.

LePage has called Montgomery a fine attorney and defended her in the veto debacle, saying it was his mistake.

A courts spokeswoman hasn’t responded to request for comment.