Lawmakers press for answers and demand accountability by the Treasurer
AUGUSTA—Today lawmakers renewed questions about State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin’s misuse of public resources for his own political gain. On Monday, Poliquin sent an email blast from the state’s computer system, in his role as State Treasurer, contradicting and undermining the findings of the Maine Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) report.
“Mr. Poliquin continues to choose to deflect criticism by pressing forward with unfounded attacks on the Maine State Housing Authority,” said State Senator Phil Bartlett (D-Gorham). “Mr. Poliquin should be focused on his duties as Treasurer instead of teaming up with special interests to use taxpayer money for a political witch hunt. It is time for Mr. Poliquin to look in the mirror and take responsibility for his own actions.”
The OPEGA report released late last month, showed no evidence of wrongdoing by Maine State Housing Authority or former Director Dale McCormick.
“A non-partisan, independent review cleared the Maine State Housing Authority of any wrong doing or fraud, yet Mr. Poliquin and his spin team continue to mislead the public and manufacture stories,” said Rep. Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, who serves on the Government Oversight Committee, which was briefed on the results of the investigation. “It’s an unethical and disturbing use of public resources to bully people that have already been cleared.”
Last week, State Senator Phil Bartlett sent a letter to Poliquin requesting he step down as State Treasurer citing a dereliction of duties as a state Constitutional Officer. To date, Senator Bartlett has received no response.
“Mr. Poliquin’s refusal to answer legitimate questions and comply with the legal requirements of his office are unacceptable. He owes all of the taxpayers of Maine an explanation for teaming up with the Maine Heritage Policy Center to launch personal political attacks,” said Bartlett.
Bartlett added, “Despite months of questions, Mr. Poliquin has left many questions unanswered. He dodges the press, ignores lawmakers queries, and worse, hasn’t explained himself to the tax payers of Maine. He still needs to account for his business interests and take immediate steps to comply with the constitutional requirements for his office. He still needs to explain why, for more than a decade, he sheltered his property from taxes with a program that requires him to harvest trees even though there is a deed restriction prohibiting him from complying with the tax program’s requirements. He still needs to explain why he is colluding with an extreme special interest group as Treasurer of the State of Maine.”