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Chair of Embattled Special Ed Commission Hires Attorney

AUGUSTA, Maine - The chair of Maine's special Education Commission, which has come under fire for closing its first meeting to the public, has hired an attorney. 

Last week, Bill Beardsley did not hesitate to say that he had made a mistake in banning the public and press from the commission's first meeting, in violation of the state's open meetings law.

But on Friday a Bangor law firm entered an appearance in Kennebec County Superior Court on behalf of Beardsley, seeking a delay in the case until September to allow the commission to meet and discuss the charge brought by Attorney General Janet Mills.  The motion was granted.

A request for an interview with Beardsley has gone unanswered, as has the question of how much it's costing the Department of Education to retain the law firm.

The maximum fine the court can assess for the violation is $500.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.