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State Senators Accused of 'Double Dipping' Seek Ethics Panel Review

AUGUSTA, Maine - The two Republican state senators accused of using campaign funds to pay for travel and lodging while also billing taxpayers for the same expenses want to clear their names.

Sens. Andre Cushing and Ron Collins are calling for a meeting of the Senate ethics panel to refute Democrats' charges that they engaged in a double-dipping scheme that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

Both senators wrote a letter to Senate President Michael Thibodeau saying they are confident that they have not done anything illegal.

On Monday, Democratic minority leader Justin Alfond and Sen. John Patrick accused the two Republicans of ripping off taxpayers. The two Democrats also called for an investigation by the Senate ethics panel.

In a statement, Senate President Michael Thibodeau says he asked to convene the ethics panel as soon as possible.