AUGUSTA, Maine — The office of Maine’s new Democratic governor said Friday that the public has a right to know about gubernatorial pardons. But for now, the state isn’t releasing records that include her Republican predecessor’s pardon of a former lawmaker against a clemency board’s recommendation.

The secretary of state’s spokeswoman said Thursday that state law says information about a person’s pardon is confidential. She said the state can’t release archived records about former Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s pardon of Jeffrey Pierce due to Maine’s Criminal History Record Information Act, which outlines how state criminal justice agencies handle criminal history information.

Gov. Janet Mills’ spokesman told The Associated Press that she’s examining such law.

“Gov. Mills is examining the recent change in law, but, in general, she believes the public has a right to know about actions that she, or any chief executive, has taken as it relates to pardons or commutations,” Scott Ogden said.

John Pelletier, who advises lawmakers as chair of Maine’s Criminal Law Advisory Commission, said state law has for years prevented certain state agencies from releasing records about pardons. “A full and free pardon is treated as if it never happened,” he said.

Meanwhile, past Maine governors have at times released information about high-profile pardons, often concerning deportation issues. Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, for example, pardoned a Cambodian man for a 2001 crash that left his sister dead.

“There was no provision to keep them non-public,” said David Farmer, who served as spokesman for Baldacci’s administration.

And in 2017, the state Department of Corrections released the names of prisoners who had their prison sentences shortened by LePage. A Department of Corrections official didn’t respond Friday to requests for such commutation records.

LePage issued up to 10 pardons on his last working day, his office said. LePage recently pardoned Pierce, a former Republican lawmaker, for a 35-year-old, felony-level drug trafficking conviction against the clemency board’s recommendation.

A Department of Corrections official didn’t respond Friday to requests for the clemency board’s recommendation.

The fate of other archived records from the LePage administration also is unclear. LePage’s office said his administration intended to fulfill all pending requests for public records by the end of his term, which ended Wednesday.

But pending requests submitted by AP and Conservation Law Foundation remain unfulfilled as LePage left office. Conservation Law Foundation attorney Phelps Turner said his group plans to follow up on a long-delayed request for records about Maine’s approach to lead abatement.

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