Westbrook City Councilor Paul Emery apologized Wednesday for his comments directed toward Maine Gov. Paul LePage during a Democratic town meeting in Scarborough Tuesday.

While discussing the governor’s tax reform plan, Emery said his feelings wouldn’t be hurt if LePage “goes to see his maker.” He then said, “In some countries assassination is a political strategy, but unfortunately not in ours.”

On Wednesday, Emery said he would be calling Gov. LePage to apologize for the remarks.

“I’m going to explain to him that it was meant as a joke and that it was inappropriate on my part, and that I’m sorry I said it,” he said. “It was tasteless.”

Emery also said he wanted to apologize to the Westbrook community.

“When you make a mistake, you step up and admit it,” he said. “I am apologizing to the city of Westbrook if I embarassed them in any way.”

The town meeting, held at Camp Ketcha in Scarborough, was held by Maine Democratic leaders to discuss the party’s counterproposal to the Republican governor’s tax plan.

Emery said he was discussing how the governor’s tax plan could assist municipalities paying for road and bridge improvements, and “got carried away.”

“Individual freedom of speech must be balanced by a responsibility to the community,” he said.

Westbrook Mayor Colleen Hilton, who did not attend the meeting Tuesday, said she received word about Emery’s comments shortly after they were made.

“I was apalled,” she said Wednesday. “I wasn’t there but I did want to get a communication out right away on behalf of the leadership of our elected government that we absolutely do not condone or find any reason for that kind of language. It’s unacceptable.”

In a press release Wednesday, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Andre Cushing, R-Penobscot, called on Democrats to denounce Emery’s comments.

“I was shocked and profoundly disappointed to learn of the hateful comments made by a Westbrook city councilor at last night’s Democratic forum,” he said. “Surely we as elected officials can discuss our policy differences in a productive and collaborative manner without resorting to insults and death wishes.”

City Councilor Paul Emery apologized Wednesday for comments he made about Gov. Paul LePage during a town meeting Tuesday. 

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