Results of LePage 'Blackmail' Probe Expected this Fall

Jul 17, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine -- A government watchdog committee learned Friday that state investigators expect to file a final report this fall on Gov. Paul LePage's alleged interactions with the Good Will-Hinckley school and the subsequent firing of Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves as the school's president.

The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability is looking into whether LePage abused his power as governor by allegedly threatening to withhold funding to the school unless it fired Eves, whom the governor said was not qualified to take the job.

OPEGA's Beth Ashcroft told lawmakers her investigators are preparing for the probe.

"At this time, I'm not needing the GOC's (Government Oversight Committee) help in any way to get started with this," Ashcroft said. "That would be my status report to you and that is the kind of report you can expect from us as we move through this until we are ready to issue a final report. And I am shooting for a September release to you for the results of that review."

Ashcroft said that, thus far, her agency has had a good cooperation from the departments involved in the incident.