The New England Patriots are a “less than ethical” franchise and cemented that reputation with this week’s controversy about the use of deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday.

The Republican governor – and New York Giants fan – blasted the Patriots while addressing reporters in Portland, the largest city in a state where the Pats have a huge following.

“What else can you expect, they have a track record,” LePage said. He added that it was “certainly unethical when they took photographs from the sidelines,” a reference to the club’s 2007 “Spygate” scandal.

LePage also criticized team owner Robert Kraft for backing the franchise out of a planned move to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1999, as well as head coach Bill Belichick for his abrupt resignation from the New York Jets the next year.

Belichick said Thursday he doesn’t know how the footballs became deflated.

Last year, LePage criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for initially giving the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice only a two-game suspension following his assault arrest.