AUGUSTA – Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is dismissing as “meritless” a lawsuit brought by gubernatorial candidate and Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills over roughly $8 million in unpaid legal bills.

Maine’s Department of Administrative and Financial Services argued in court filings Wednesday that Mills must provide detailed legal bills justifying spending. The governor wants the bills to be as detailed as those provided by private law firms.

Without such billing, the department is withholding payments from agencies to the attorney general’s office.

Mills wasn’t immediately available to comment. Her office says the LePage administration lacks a legal basis for withholding the money.

Mills’ office has provided AP with legal bills showing how many hours staff members worked on various legal matters for state agencies, including child support cases.

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