Eves’ lawyer, Webbert, renews LePage ‘blackmail’ charge in appeals court

Read the entire story here at the Bangor Daily News.

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The court battle between Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves advanced Wednesday with oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston.

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At issue is how LePage forced Good Will-Hinckley, an organization that among other things runs a public charter school in Fairfield, to rescind an employment contract with Eves or face the loss of some $500,000 in annual state funding.

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Eves’ attorney David Webbert said there were indications from the panel of three appeals court judges that there is some merit in Eves’ arguments, particularly on whether LePage had the right to use public funds as a threat and whether LePage discriminated against all Democratic lawmakers, and particularly Eves.

“This case is about one thing: protecting Maine citizens and private organizations from being blackmailed, threatened and intimidated by a politician willing to abuse government power for partisan reasons,” said Webbert in a written statement.

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