Whether a lawsuit will continue between two of Maine’s leading politicians and most bitter rivals is in a federal judge’s hands following arguments around dismissal of the case Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court.
Arguments in the lawsuit by Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves against Republican Gov. Paul LePage have been coming for months, since Eves sued LePage in July 2015.
Judge George Singal said after the brief arguments concluded that he would rule on LePage’s motion to dismiss the case “in the very near future.”
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David Webbert, who represents Eves, argued that the Department of Education was already processing its first payment to Good Will-Hinckley, which means pulling it back because of LePage’s displeasure with Eves falls outside the scope of normal legislative business.
Webbert argued that LePage’s actions against Eves were part of an extended pattern of LePage’s “war on Democrats” that included continued verbal attacks and a vow to veto every bill they put across his desk.
“What better way to say that than to get the leader of the Democrats fired from the job he needed to support his family?” said Webbert. “The defendant was smart enough not to say [Eves] should be fired because he was a Democrat, but he came awfully close.”