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June 26, 2015

Maine Gov. Accused of Threatening Nonprofit School Over Hire

Maine legislators on both sides of the aisle are expressing dismay over allegations that Republican Gov. Paul LePage threatened to pull more than $500,000 in state funds from a nonprofit-run charter school if it installed a top Democratic lawmaker as its president, writes the Associated Press.

House Speaker Mark Eves was to have taken leadership of the Good Will-Hinckley school on July 1, but the institution said Wednesday it is looking for a new president so as not to be caught up in a "political controversy," the Bangor Daily News reports.

Mr. LePage's office declined to discuss the specific accusation, citing a potential lawsuit by Mr. Eves, but the governor — who has built a reputation for aggressive political tactics — stood by his opposition to the hire because the House leader has been a legislative critic of charter schools. Putting Mr. Eves in charge of a state-supported charter would be "the height of hypocrisy," he said. GOP Sen. Tom Saviello said Mr. LePage "is taking partisan politics to a new, dark level."