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LePage under fire for comments about Maine sheriffs

Governor Paul LePage has been under fire recently for making comments regarding Maine sheriffs for “not doing their job” in terms of how they treat immigrants upon their release from jail.

“So, there’s likelihood that you’re going to be hearing some stories about some sheriffs being removed from their duties,” LePage said in an interview with Laura Ingraham, a conservative talk show host.

In an article posted by the Bangor Daily News (BDN), Gov. LePage admitted that he has thought about removing two sheriffs from their positions for a “lack of cooperation with immigration officials,” which was directly aimed at one of them after that person admitted that he would not hold inmates after their release dates.

While no names were explicitly mentioned during these conversations, it was clear who these announcements were being directed at. Kevin Joyce, the sheriff from Cumberland County, said that he will hold inmates past their release dates so long as a warrant is issued. By doing this, he says, the constitution will be followed and no real laws will be broken.

Another sheriff under fire is William King of York County.  He said that he would not honor the requests to hold immigrants after their release dates, but also claims that his office has never been asked to do so.

In an article published by the BDN, Julie Rabinowitz, Gov. LePage’s spokeswoman, said in an email that LePage’s “first responsibility” is “safety and security of the children, families and citizens.”

In the weeks following the Bangor City Council meeting regarding Gov. Paul LePage’s push to build a mental health facility on Hogan Road, it has become clear that this debate will continue beyond the governor’s elected term.

Some of the current issues with the mental health facilities in the state of Maine are due to a lack of resources. Citizens in the state agree that the facility is absolutely necessary, but finding a location for such a place is not something that can be agreed upon.

The idea of building this new facility came about in 2016, but did not receive much support as Gov. LePage could not answer basic questions about how the facility would operate.  He also chose to house this facility on Hogan Road, and did not offer any room for the public to express their concerns.

LePage has been the governor of Maine since 2011 and will remain in office until January of 2019.  He has been known for his very vocal views on controversial issues such as illegal drug use, immigration and welfare.  Since Maine laws prohibit governors for serving more than two consecutive terms, LePage will not be able to run for governor again in the next election cycle.

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