- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Attorney General Janet Mills plans to file a rare complaint against Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration for violating the public access law, a spokesman Maine’s attorney general said Thursday.

The office will file a complaint against the state’s blue ribbon commission on reforming public education funding, which met April 25 at the Blaine House, attorney general spokesman Tim Feeley said. No timeline for the complaint has been given.

Feeley said, in the three years he has worked in the office, he is not aware of another meeting violation that has been lodged by Maine’s Attorney General’s office. He said there have been instances where public officials have been prosecuted for destroying public records.

An agenda was circulated for the three-hour meeting, but the public wasn’t allowed in.

The Democratic attorney general called the meeting illegal and against the state’s Freedom of Access Act. Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves called for an investigation.

The Portland Press Herald reported that at a Boothbay Harbor town hall on Wednesday, LePage defended the meeting as a private, get-to-know-you session for members.

LePage’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Maine law permits up to a $500 fine for such a violation. LePage called Mill’s efforts a waste of time.

In a statement, Eves said Lepage “flagrantly” broke the law when barring lawmakers and members of the public from attending the commission’s first meeting.

Following criticism about the closed meeting in April, LePage withdrew himself and the Department of Education from the commission. He said the executive branch would provide data, if requested.

LePage told WVOM-FM at the time that the commission is better off without the distraction of media scrutiny that would accompany his participation.

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