Phoenix inquiry prompts LePage's FOAA training

Good thing we checked. When Governor Paul LePage was spouting his various opinions about open government (including that there should be limits to the most transparent administration in Augusta's history), he hadn't taken the legally required training about the state's open-government law. And he didn't take it before heading off on vacation, either. He did do it on his first workday back after coming home from Jamaica, but we suspect that's only because we asked.

All elected officials in Maine must engage in a training about the state's Freedom of Access Act  - the state's open-government law - within 120 days of taking the oath of office. After completing that training - which can be a formal class, or simply reading the state's page of FAQ on FOAA. Upon completion, each elected official must complete a form saying what method of training they undertook, and when.

On April 4, I requested that document from Governor Paul LePage's office. I heard nothing - no acknowledgement of receiving the request, nothing. Until this morning, when I got the document below, showing that on this very morning, LePage read a web page, and signed the form. It was his 96th day in office, by my count, so he made the deadline.

LePage's press secretary, Adrienne Bennett, added a note in the e-mail that included the form: "The Governor is very familiar with freedom of access law as FOA training was also required when he was Mayor."

I'll leave it to the Waterville folks to track down how long he waited after becoming mayor, before refreshing his knowledge of open government.




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