Last week, Gov. Paul LePage personally insulted a lawmaker and stormed out of a meeting of the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee after it questioned him concerning a report by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability that found no evidence that the governor was involved in a decision to divert deliveries of timber from state lands away from mills owned by two of his critics. During that meeting, LePage accused Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Franklin Cty.) of fabricating the story that he was involved in the diversion and called the senator “the most repugnant human being I have ever seen in my life.” On Wednesday, the committee sent the governor the following letter.

Dear Governor LePage:

The members of the Government Oversight Committee who were present during the meeting on August 20, 2018, have unanimously delegated to us the unprecedented task of sending this letter.

You asked to appear before the Committee on the morning of August 20th in reference to the Timber Sales report from OPEGA under consideration. We were, of course, happy to oblige. Throughout the entire exchange, each and every member of the Committee treated you with the courtesy and respect that your office demands. By contrast, your remarks to the Committee became an utterly unprovoked and unacceptable diatribe against one Committee member. Accusing this member of “fabricating things for eight years” and angrily referring to him as “the most repugnant human being [you] have ever seen” are actions unworthy of the Chief Executive of the State of Maine, or, indeed, any elected official. Your behavior necessitated the previously unimaginable action* taken by the Senate Chair, who was forced to rule you out of order. You responded by storming out of the committee room.

Governor LePage, we do not know what fuels your anger, but your behavior before a standing committee of the Maine Legislature on August 20th was unacceptable, and we condemn it. Further, we strongly urge you to apologize to both Senator Saviello and the entire Committee for your undignified and disrespectful behavior.

Yours truly,

Roger Katz, Senate chair; Anne-Marie Mastraccio, House chair

* We are unaware of another time in our State’s history when a legislative chair was required to rule a Chief Executive out of order.