An email with an innocuous heading “Governor announces staff changes,” landed like a bomb in computers around Maine Wednesday.

Two Cabinet members, Commissioner of Environmental Protection Darryl Brown and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Philip Congdon, both business leaders brought in by Gov. LePage to serve in his administration, had resigned. Combined with the abrupt departure last weekend of Communications Director Dan Demeritt after the disclosure of his personal financial problems, the sudden resignations of Brown and Congdon amount to a major staff shake-up in an administration that just marked its 100th day in office.

Brown’s reassignment — he has been appointed to run the State Planning Office, an organization LePage has proposed eliminating in his budget — is the least surprising. It has been known for some time that his career as a development consultant raised potential conflicts of interest. The Androscoggin River Alliance petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate whether Brown’s appointment violated a provision in both state and federal law. That probe led to his resignation.

The explanation of how a local environmental organization was able to quickly identify this problem but the people in the LePage transition team charged with vetting potential department heads missed it was not included in Wednesday’s email.

Neither was any explanation whatsoever for Congdon’s departure, leaving it to the rumor mill and enterprising to fill in the blanks.

The governor can grouse all he wants about the inflexibility of state regulations, but the responsibility for this meltdown belongs to his own administration. There was some sloppy work done by the people who evaluated candidates for some of the state’s most important jobs and more done by those who are supposed to communicate with the public.

No one expects these operations to run perfectly, but we can expect a lot better than what we have seen.

These are not just “staff changes” as the email tried to suggest.

At a time when this administration should be hitting its stride, it is still struggling to get out of the blocks.