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For Immediate Release
February 28, 2002
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky

Secretary of State Reviews Additional Information on Tax Cap Petition and Stands by Original Decision to Invalidate

AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky received and reviewed additional information provided to his office by the Maine Taxpayers Action Network regarding the residency and identity of a petition circulator known as James Powell. Maine Taxpayers Action Network (MTAN), through its attorney, had requested the opportunity to provide additional information to the Secretary of State for his review on the matter. The Secretary of State agreed to consider this additional information and the parties jointly requested the court allow the Secretary of State to do so.

After a thorough review of the information provided by MTAN, as well as supplemental information provided by an attorney general investigator, Secretary Gwadosky issued a decision on remand today that concludes the information presented strongly suggests that Mr. Powell is not the person he purported to be, as he fraudulently used the identity of another.

Secretary Gwadosky's decision further concluded that the information provided was not sufficient to determine that the individual claiming to be James Powell was a resident of Maine. Therefore, Mr. Powell was ineligible to circulate a petition through the citizen initiative process and the signatures he collected remain invalid.

Since this matter had been appealed, a court order was necessary to bring the matter back before the Secretary of State for review. The Court issued the remand by agreement of the parties to allow the additional information to be provided to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State's Office was also allowed to supplement its information in response. The court order finally stated that if the Secretary of State's decision remained the same, the petitioner's appeal would proceed before the Court.

The matter will now be heard before a Maine Superior Court Justice who will receive legal briefs and hear arguments from both parties before issuing a decision on or before March 21, 2002.