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Governor says he’ll keep blocking payments to AG office

AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Friday he won’t release $4.9 million that lawmakers budgeted for Democratic Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Janet Mills’ office until she provides him legal bills that are as detailed as those of private law firms.

In an Aug. 30 letter to Mills’ office, LePage’s finance chief Alec Porteous said the governor has directed him to withhold payments to Mills’ office for legal services provided to state agencies. LePage told The Associated Press on Friday that he’ll keep doing so until she sends him invoices that describe what her office is working on and include “hours and charges” like private law firms do.

“I need to know that they’re actually working for the state,” said the governor, who has called on Mills and independent state treasurer Terry Hayes to resign while they run to succeed him. LePage is term-limited from running this November. His term ends in early 2019.

Porteous said it would be “regrettable” for the matter to go to courts, as Mills’ office warned in an Aug. 24 letter.

To read the rest of “Governor says he’ll keep blocking payments to AG office,” an article by contributing staff writer Marina Villeneuve of The Associated Press, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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