March 13, 2010

Maine AG seeks direct evidence of Standish sign

— From staff reports

The Maine Attorney General's Office is encouraging people with direct knowledge of the alleged ''Osama Obama Shotgun Pool'' at a Standish store to contact authorities.

The owner of the Oak Hill General Store, Steve Collins, is not facing criminal charges by local law enforcement or the Attorney General's Office in the alleged assassination pool. Collins denied any knowledge of the sign when questioned by deputies earlier this month, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Attorney General Steven Rowe issued a statement this weekend saying that there is not enough evidence to bring an action under the state's Civil Rights Act. Rowe said that his office will proceed with a civil action if enough factual evidence is developed.

Under the Civil Rights Act, is it illegal for anyone to threaten or commit acts of violence or property damage when that conduct is based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, religion, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. Rowe said there's a concern that the sign could have constituted a threat of violence based on race or color.

A whiteboard in the store said, ''Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count'' and ''Let's hope someone wins,'' according to an a description by The Associated Press.

Rowe asks that anyone with direct knowlege of the circumstances around the alleged pool to contact his office at 626-8800 or the sheriff's office at 774-1444.

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