AUGUSTA  — Maine’s finance commissioner is taking responsibility for mishandling the state’s sale of property in Thomaston to the Maine State Prison warden.

Commissioner Sawin Millett tells the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee his department failed to consider a law that bars state officials from benefitting financially from state contracts.

Millett said todday that the state’s sale policies are being tightened and that such lapses won’t happen again.

The committee was full of questions after the director of the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, Beth Ashcroft, briefed the committee on the sale. Her report says the land was never publicly marketed.

The property was sold to Warden Patricia Barnhart and her partner for $283,000 less than its town-assessed value. Millett told the committee that the final sale price of $175,000 was reasonable.

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