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Panel Fails to Find Anti-Business Bias at Human Rights Commission

A panel created by an executive order fro Gov. Paul LePage has rejected his assertion that the Maine Human Rights Commission has been biased in the way it treats complaints, with a particular bias against businesses.

Amy Sneirson, executive director of the independent agency, says the report is helpful in recommending more staff and new equipment.

“I think it is very helpful to see what an objective group of folks found when they looked at us, and I think our commissioners will find it very interesting,” she says.

The report, based on interviews and documents over the past year, concludes there has been no bias by the commission — none at all. What it did find was a perception by several groups that the antiquated way the commission handles complaints has led to misperceptions.

“There is also a perception among pro se litigants that they don’t stand a chance with us, and also a perception among attorneys that we are more helpful to pro se litigants than we are to them. Everyone sees our process helping somebody other than them,” Sneirson says.

A LePage spokesman says the governor has not yet seen the report.