Speaker Eves’ Legal Team File ‘Notice of Claim’ Against Governor LePage with Attorney General’s Office

Posted on August 12, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Attorneys for Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves filed a state law claim against Governor Paul LePage today with the state’s Attorney General. From an accompanying press release by David Webbert:

 

David Webbert of Johnson, Webbert & Young, LLP speaks to press while Speaker Mark Eves looks on (July 2015).

David Webbert of Johnson, Webbert & Young, LLP speaks to press while Speaker Mark Eves looks on (July 2015).

Today, I filed a new notice of claim under Maine law against Gov. Paul LePage on behalf of Speaker Mark Eves.

The attached written notice explains why Speaker Eves has a very strong state law claim against the Governor for intentional interference with employment.  Not only did the governor violate federal law, but he also violated Maine law when he blackmailed Good Will-Hinckley to coerce it into firing Speaker Eves. This state law claim adds to the Speaker’s case against the Governor and will be considered as part of the lawsuit in federal court.

Maine law requires that this notice be filed with the Office of the Governor and the Attorney General. It also requires that Speaker Eves wait 120 days after filing this notice before he can add this state law claim to his lawsuit filed in federal court on July 30, 2015.

Here is the notice of claim.

*RELATED: “Mark W. Eves Vs Paul R. LePage” Federal Civil Lawsuit Filed In U.S. District Court

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AG Janet Mills Announces Record $21M Settlement from 19 State S&P Lawsuit

Posted on February 4, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Earlier today Maine Attorney General stood on the steps of the Kennebec County Courthouse to meet with press and announce that a huge chunk of money is coming our way. Via press release:

    Attorney General Janet Mills has announced the largest ever one-time settlement in Maine history. The State of Maine filed papers Wednesday with the Superior Court settling the state’s complex lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s (S&P). The lawsuit, originally filed two years ago in Kennebec Superior Court, alleged that the credit ratings giant engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices in connection with its ratings during the time leading up to the financial crisis of 2008. The settlement was negotiated in conjunction with the federal Department of Justice and 19 states and the District of Columbia. Maine will receive $21.5 million dollars for consumer protection efforts.

    The total settlement amount is $1.375 Billion. One half of the amount was paid the United States Department of Justice to settle its case. The other half was divided among the states that sued S&P. S&P is paying the Maine Office of the Attorney General $21,535,714.00, an amount commensurate with the economic harm caused by the company’s behavior and an amount which exceeds the profits from its activities, amounting to essentially a disgorgement of S&P’s ill-gotten gains. The state’s share will be directed toward consumer protection and education efforts.

Portions of her prepared statement:

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    “Holding S&P accountable for these practices tells Wall Street we will not tolerate acts that deceive investors and devastate our economy,” said Attorney General Mills. “As Attorney General I will continue to work to promote transparency and protect the integrity of our financial system. This settlement shows that banks did not act alone and that the Attorneys General of the states and of the United States together will pursue any entity that violates the public trust and stacks the deck against consumers and homeowners.”

Per Assistant Attorney General Linda Conti, Maine’s Consumer Protection Division Chief, the states are dividing the windfall pretty much equally, with a few exceptions receiving a slightly larger portion. More from the Justice Department:

    In its agreed statement of facts, S&P admits that its decisions on its rating models were affected by business concerns, and that, with an eye to business concerns, S&P maintained and continued to issue positive ratings on securities despite a growing awareness of quality problems with those securities. S&P acknowledges that:

    AG Janet T. Mills answers media questions at the Kennebec County Courthouse press conference. Also pictured, Asst AG Linda Conti.

    AG Janet T. Mills answers media questions at the Kennebec County Courthouse press conference. Also pictured, Asst AG Linda Conti.

    • S&P promised investors at all relevant times that its ratings must be independent and objective and must not be affected by any existing or potential business relationship;
    • S&P executives have admitted, despite its representations, that decisions about the testing and rollout of updates to S&P’s model for rating CDOs were made, at least in part, based on the effect that any update would have on S&P’s business relationship with issuers;
    • Relevant people within S&P knew in 2007 many loans in RMBS transactions S&P were rating were delinquent and that losses were probable;
    • S&P representatives continued to issue and confirm positive ratings without adjustments to reflect the negative rating actions that it expected would come.

There is ongoing similar multi-state litigation against Moody’s as well, but that is still in its preliminary stage. As such, Mills and her office were unwilling to discuss details pertaining to that case.

As for distribution of the $21M, Mills said that she intended to speak with legislative leadership and the governor’s office with recommendations for usage of the funds.

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Maine Senate Takes Up EBT- TANF- GA Bills LDs 1829, 1822, 1820, 1842, 1815 and 1844 (VIDEOS)

Posted on April 8, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

(NOTE: All of these will be separated and written up over the rest of the week. In the meanwhile, for the sake of sharing quickly, here are all 44 video clips taken during the Monday afternoon/ evening second session in order of debate.)

1. LD 1829, “An Act To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Report Annually on Investigations and Prosecutions of False Claims Made under the MaineCare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Food Supplement Programs”.
ROLL CALL: 21 Yeas – 14 Nays

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1829 to Senate

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) Opposing LD 1829

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec) Supporting LD 1829

Asst Minority Leader Sen. Roger Katz Opposing LD 1829

Sen. Geoff Gratwick (D-Penobscot) Supporting LD 1829

2. LD 1822, “An Act To Increase Integrity in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program through Restriction of Expenditures”.
ROLL CALL: 18 Yeas – 17 Nays

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1822 (OTP as amended by H-787) to Senate

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) Opposing LD 1822 as amended by H-787

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec) Supporting H-787 amended LD 1822

Asst Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) Opposing LD 1822 as amended by H-787

Sen. John Patrick (D-Oxford) Offers SAS 505 to amend LD 1822

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) opposing LD 1822 SAS-505

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505 (PT 1)

Asst Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) Opposing LD 1822 CAH 787, SAS 505

Sen. Andre Cushing (R-Penobscot) Opposing LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Sen. John Patrick (D-Oxford) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Senate Minority Leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo) opposing LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Sen. David Burns (R-Washington) opposing LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505 (PT 1)

Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) concludes supporting remarks on LD 1822, SAS-505

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505 (PT 2)

3. LD 1820, “An Act To Reduce Abuse of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program through Restriction of Electronic Benefits Transfers”.
ROLL CALL: Yeas 20 – Nays 15

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1820 as amended to Senate

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) opposing LD 1820

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) supporting LD 1820

4. LD 1842, “An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program”.
ROLL CALL: Yeas 20 – Nays 15

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1842 to Senate w/ ONTP committee recommendation

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) Opposing ONTP on LD 1842

Sen. Eloise Vitelli (D-Sagadahoc) Supporting “ONTP” on LD 1842

Asst Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) Opposing “ONTP” on LD 1842

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec) Supporting “ONTP” on LD 1842

Sen. Rebecca Millett (D-Cumberland) supporting ONTP on LD 1842

Sen. Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin) supporting “ONTP” on LD 1842

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) Supporting “ONTP” on LD 1842

5. LD 1815, “An Act To Require a Work Search for Job-ready Applicants for Benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program”.
ROLL CALL: 20 Yeas – 15 Nays

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1815 (“ONTP”) to Senate

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) Opposing ONTP on LD 1815

Sen. Ron Collins (R-York) Opposing ONTP on LD 1815

Asst Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) opposing ONTP on LD 1815

Asst Majority Leader Anne Haskell (D-Cumberland) supporting ONTP on LD 1815

Sen. Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin) supporting ONTP on LD 1815

6. LD 1844, “An Act To Increase Local Responsibility for General Assistance”.
ROLL CALL: 22 Yeas – 12 Nays

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1844 (ONTP) to Senate

Sen. Geoff Gratwick (D-Penobscot) supporting LD 1844 ONTP recommendation

Sen. John Cleveland (D-Androscoggin) supporting LD 1844 ONTP recommendation

Sen. Doug Thomas (R-Somerset) opposing LD 1844 ONTP recommendation

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) supporting LD 1844 ONTP recommendation

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Maine Attorney General Janet Mills Swearing-In Speech (Video; Transcription)

Posted on January 8, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Remarks of Janet T. Mills
Sworn in as Maine’s 57th Attorney General
Monday, January 7, 2013

swearGov. LePage, Chief Justice Saufley, President Alfond, Speaker Eves, legislators, distinguished guests, it is a honor to stand before you today and to once again take the oath of office to serve as Maine’s Attorney General.

I want to acknowledge my husband, Stan, and three of my stepdaughters, Lisl, Coleen and Tammy and three wonderful grandsons who are here today.

I am grateful and humbled by the faith that you have shown in me.

Today, I’m living proof that Maine genuinely believes in recycling.

But as I stand here, having taken this solemn oath, I’m pondering a serious question, a legal quagmire…

If in 2009 I was the first Attorney General from Franklin County, am I now the second?

If, four years ago, I was the first woman to serve as Attorney General, am I now the second as well?

I was Attorney General number 55. Now I’m number 57. That’s it.

I am very grateful. And I’m ready to get to work.

Nearly a hundred years ago a man named William Robinson Pattangall took the oath to become the 34th Attorney General. A native of Pembroke and former mayor of Waterville, Pattangall had also served before. He was also number 32. It was his second time around after an unplanned vacation. Like me, life had given him another chance. And he was successful in many ways. Like Pattangall, I too have found that absence made the job grow fonder.

We’ll have to call this the “Pattangall Pattern,” a tradition of sorts.

Every hundred years or so the Attorney General will take a break, come back and serve again, with renewed vigor and commitment.

Some things are better the second time around –

Returning students often get higher grades.

Second marriages may last longer than the first.

Lawmakers who come back here look at things differently.

They know that the wheel does not always have to be reinvented. And that friction keeps the wheel turning, but that too much friction can bring it to a sudden stop.

Those who remember 1991 and 1992 remember what sparks flew and how putting the brakes on state government did little to move our state forward.

My time off has been interesting, my sabbatical fulfilling. For two years, as in years before, I’ve represented clients from all walks of life. I’ve litigated everything from property taxation and criminal matters to human rights cases and multi million dollar commercial disputes.

Yet I have hungered to return to a position which everyone from Frank Bellotti to Steve Rowe to Bill Clinton, from Jim Tierney to Justice David Souter have often called the “best job they ever had” – Attorney General of their state.

And I hope my return brings more wisdom than cynicism. More insight than mere boldness or bravado.

During my time away, I have also traveled the length and breadth of Maine and talked with thousands of people in their homes and businesses, at their local diners, at Saturday night suppers and hunters’ breakfasts. I’ve heard their dreams, listened to their fears, and felt their hunger for opportunity.

As we all know, opportunity and achievement are not straight lines.

Some of us are blessed with second chances.

No one knows this better than our Governor, Paul LePage.

janet paulNo one knows better that opportunity comes and goes – for us, and for the hardworking people of this state.
And no one is more deserving of opportunity than the citizens of Maine.

And as I take this office for the second time, it’s important to remember just what role the Attorney General plays in ensuring opportunity for Maine people.

The Attorney General gives guidance and advice to the executive and legislative branches and defends the state against lawsuits.

The office protects small businesses from great monopolies and fights against illegal business practices.

It protects consumers against fraud, families against domestic violence, it stands up for children and against poverty.

It helps protect the elderly from abuse.

It prosecutes homicides and protects medical privacy.

It helps preserve the legacy of Gov. Percival Baxter and the 209,000 acres of wilderness that are one of Maine’s finest natural treasures.

Most importantly, the Attorney General represents the people, not just the machinery of the state bureaucracy.

The hallmark of the Attorney General’s Office is its “Independence.”

That independence gives the AG the authority – indeed the responsibility – to ensure opportunity and second chances for the people of our state.

To me, opportunity for Maine people means:

Safety in their homes

Security in their workplaces

The freedom to earn a living, to compete and survive in business and to support a family in the toughest of times.

A place to rest your head at night, with fuel in the furnace, wood in the stove,

Clean air to breathe, water to drink, lands to till. Safe food to eat.

The right to grow old with proper care and financial security.

The right to vote without intimidation.

Freedom from discrimination and disease, addiction or unconscionable debt.

Free and public learning at a public school as provided in our Constitution.

And a government, up and down the line, that treasures integrity, compassion and true transparency.

In short, the Office of the Attorney General is the guarantor of personal liberties for many, the protector of public safety for all, the face of the state, an advocate for its values, and the voice of the people before the highest courts in the land.

This means representing all the people, not one party or the other, not carrying the banner for one administration or another.

And I take that responsibility seriously.

As we begin our work, I know that we will not always agree on the course our state should take. Achieving true opportunity means disagreeing about the means. It means creating friction, sometimes. It means that the wheels of democracy turn at different speeds on different tracks.

But it means debating, talking and listening to each other.

It shouldn’t be hard though, because we are Mainers. We recognize, as Thomas Jefferson said, that “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.”

We will debate solutions, programs, strategies, rules, budgets and bills. And at times those discussions will be heated.

janet stanBut, we know we can succeed.

We love and live in the same state.

We find comfort and sport in the same woods and streams.

We enjoy the noisy gaiety and busy-ness of the same cities.

We watch the same big rivers muscling their way throug fertile fields under big moons and marshmallow skies.

We love the same majestic ridges of the rough and revered Katahdin, the long serene Bigelows, the friendly slopes of Sugarloaf and Saddleback.

We work and play in the same ocean, busting up against the same independent craggy shores.

We are citizens of the same society.

fourWe have to get along.

We are the caretakers of this precious state.

We have to care for it and for each other.

We live by the same light, breathe the same air, suffer under the same times of darkness.

So much brings us together, so much more than that which divides us.

So let us get down to business.

Let us make the second time around the best time around.

Let us make our home a state of safety and a place for second chances… not just for present company, but for every beloved citizen of the great State of Maine.

Thank you.

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