AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage has a new chief legal counsel.

The governor promoted Carlisle McLean on Wednesday to make her the administration’s top legal adviser. McLean has been LePage’s general counsel since 2012. Before that, she was the governor’s senior natural resources policy adviser.

McLean, a former attorney with Preti Flaherty, replaces Michael Cianchette, who resigned last week. Cianchette, an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve, left the administration for a yearlong deployment in Kabul, Afghanistan.

McLean worked for Preti Flaherty from 2005 to 2011, in the firm’s environmental law and climate strategy groups, taking on permitting for energy projects and negotiations at Superfund cleanup sites in New England.

According to a Preti Flaherty news release announcing her departure from the firm in 2011, McLean also participated in Department of Environmental Protection rulemaking and represented clients who appeared before regulatory boards such as the Board of Environmental Protection.

As LePage’s natural resources policy adviser, McLean helped implement regulatory reforms that were advanced by LePage early in his term and developed by Preti Flaherty attorney Ann Robinson, who was a co-chairwoman of the governor’s transition team.

McLean earned her law degree from Pace University School of Law, her master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and her bachelor’s degree from Bates College.

“Carlie has been a valuable member of our staff, and I am confident that she will make an excellent chief legal counsel,” LePage said in a statement.

McLean is LePage’s third chief legal counsel since the governor took office in 2011. His first, Daniel Billings, left the administration to become a judge in Wiscasset District Court. Billings was appointed to the post by LePage and confirmed by the Legislature in 2012.

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

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