AUGUSTA — The day after firing his economic development director for making comments many people view as offensive, Gov. Paul LePage today said that the matter was a personnel issue and it was time to “move on.”

Economic Development Commissioner Phil Congdon resigned Wednesday after making comments about affirmative action and the parenting skills of people in Aroostook County and saying that people in northern Maine need to “get off the reservation.”

When asked if he condoned the remarks by Congdon, LePage said, “Let me put it this way. My actions should speak for themselves.”

He added, “We had a personnel issue, we dealt with it, let’s move on.”

Congdon, who was confirmed by the state Senate in January, made the comments during a chamber of commerce event in Caribou and a meeting in Presque Isle on April 1.

When asked why it took 26 days to deal with Congdon, LePage said he only learned about the comments on Monday.

LePage said that Congdon was properly vetted. When asked why someone who had been vetted would have made those kinds of remarks, LePage replied: “I don’t know why, what you think happened,” he said. “We had a personnel matter and we took care of it.”


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