AUGUSTA – A hearing on whether the LePage administration violated Maine’s open-meetings law has been canceled because the governor’s office agreed to pay a $500 fine.

The attorney general’s office took the rare step of imposing a fine after the state commission tasked with reforming public education funding held a closed-door meeting.

An assistant attorney general told commission chairman William Beardsley – who leads the Department of Education – that the meeting was a public proceeding. Commission staff then changed the meeting’s location to the Blaine House and called it an informal “reception.”

The attorney general gave the governor permission to hire outside counsel before the administration agreed to pay the fine. The commission, which will submit a report by next January, will next meet Sept. 26 in South Paris.


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