On two Sundays in November, there was an editorial (on Nov. 21) and a column (Nov. 28) that brought notice to the public of Rep. Robert Nutting’s billing errors at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services up to 2003.

While attacking a prominent Republican legislator who has now been elected speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, the newspaper ignored a major problem of state government.

That problem is that the DHHS was blindly paying miscalculated charges for years without anyone checking the allowances. This is an egregious example of Maine government incompetency.

Rep. Nutting had done business with the DHHS since the 1970s. He was found to owe $1.6 million due to using an incorrect billing procedure that many other pharmacists also used.

If the DHS had checked the prices years ago and corrected the payments, this all could have been avoided. This glaring lack of prudent management of taxpayers’ money is the real story.

Why hasn’t the press investigated this?

It seems that the press prefers to smear a good man rather than determine how the state spends our money.

End of the story: Rep. Nutting paid back over $400,000 before he was forced into bankruptcy because of the impatience of the DHHS in not allowing a structure to be created to enable further payments.

The recent attack articles only revealed that nothing new has happened since 2003 and the stories caused no change in the make-up of the Legislature.