I read with interest Sunday’s front-page article “Viability of health clinics in doubt” (Feb. 8). with interest.

Until this past election, I had been a Democratic Maine legislator for six years and followed Leslie Clark’s Portland Community Health Center with anticipation, hope, interest and concern. It is about my concern that I am writing.

As CEO of Portland Community Health, Ms. Clark sideswiped funding that had traditionally kept Portland’s longstanding and respected Health Care for the Homeless operational. At the time, it was felt by many that Ms. Clark was overreaching the capacity of her organization and delving into health care scenarios and clientele that her organization was poorly staffed and equipped to handle.

It struck many as an extremely ill-considered grab for expansion. There was also concern that divesting a community’s diversity in health care organizations was a mistake.

It is to be expected that Ms. Clark would not attribute the particularly dire straits of the Portland Community Health Center to her takeover of Health Care for the Homeless, but I wish the article had scratched that surface.

For Ms. Clark to lay blame entirely at the feet of the present gubernatorial administration is disingenuous and, I believe, only a part of the picture. Very few CEOs give a reporter an honest assessment concerning their failings as leaders of organizations unless asked informed and aggressive questions.

I am left wondering about Ms. Clark’s “takeover” of Health Care for the Homeless and the 1,000-plus people it served: What was the status of this constituency’s insurance coverage? How much did that cost her clinic in expanded services and staffing? Did this contribute to her clinic’s financial woes?

In other words: I would have liked Ms. Clark’s feet held to the fire instead of letting her simply spin and pass the entire buck to state government.

Peter Kent