The Maine Ethics Commission removed the video and livestream of a public proceeding after a commissioner mentioned the name of a person or business entity that the campaign finance regulator is investigating.
The highly unusual move came at the request of Stop the Corridor, a political group that opposes Central Maine Power’s controversial transmission project.
Stop the Corridor is also the subject of an ethics commission investigation to determine if entities working with the anti-corridor group should file as a political action committee and reveal funding sources.
Friday’s meeting was the second in the past week and was called because Stop the Corridor is protesting the commission’s subpoena for records. The majority of both meetings have been held in executive session, a closed-door proceeding that the commission uses to discuss information that it’s agreed to keep confidential in investigations.
In the case of Friday’s meeting, the commission returned from executive session to publicly discuss its next move. According to Ethics Commission director Jonathan Wayne, it was during that discussion that one of the commissioners “inadvertently referred to one of the confidential names.”
The commission’s decision to yank the meeting from public view was the second time in a week that it’s honored a request from an entity its investigating to keep secret something that might have been observed during an in-person meeting.
Last week, the commission agreed to conceal the identity of an attorney representing one of the entities its investigating after the attorney said they preferred to appear only in executive session, not the public proceeding.