Governor LePage Responds to Government Oversight Committee Subpoena for DHHS Commissioner
June 28, 2018
For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 28, 2018
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage issued the following statement regarding the Government Oversight Committee's vote to subpoena Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Ricker Hamilton to appear before the committee.
"I received the letter from Beth Ashcroft requesting the attendance of Commissioner Hamilton at the June 28 GOC meeting," stated Governor LePage. "Because of the continued need to follow appropriate confidentiality protocols due to the ongoing prosecutions related to the child welfare system, I determined that placing the Commissioner in a situation where Legislators could ask any question would jeopardize the deliberate care taken to date by my office, DHHS, the AG's office and OPEGA to follow the proper protocols to protect confidentiality. My office communicated with OPEGA that the Commissioner could answer questions in writing but would not participate in open-ended deliberations or discussions."
"Given that this a matter of significant public interest during an election year, we could not risk that GOC legislators would use the hearing to grandstand to score political points. As I told the GOC on May 31, we continue to have a good working relationship with OPEGA on this issue, and that my administration will cooperate. To that end Commissioner Hamilton has met with OPEGA staff and DHHS has worked with the AG's office to make all relevant material available to OPEGA that can be released under the law. Furthermore, my administration has provided several recommendations regarding legislative changes to OPEGA, most of which were not discussed at today's meeting," the Governor continued.
A copy of the letter sent to the Governor is available at the link below.