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."