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Post by T on Sat May 24, 2014 9:49 am

LePage suspends payments for welfare report

LePage said in an interview Friday that payments had already been suspended to the Alexander Group on Wednesday, after the Bangor Daily News reported sections of the group’s latest report had been lifted, verbatim, without proper attribution.

The Alexander Group was awarded a $925,000 sole-source contract last year to study the state’s welfare system and make recommendations toward its improvement. The state has paid more than $500,000 to the Rhode Island-based consulting group for its work to date.

“I will take every action we can. I am not happy about this,” LePage told reporters Friday. “I’m saying I will withhold part to all of what’s left over, and maybe go back after what we paid. It’s all a matter of the extent of what the damage is.”

“This is true of portions of the reports copied wholesale from policy papers published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, as well as text taken from a number of Maine government documents,” Tipping wrote.

“I don’t mind being held accountable for things that I do,” he said. “That contract, I did approve it. I did veto the Democrats’ effort to kill the contract. At that point in time, I had no reason to believe that they weren’t going to do a high-quality job. I’m under the understanding now that they may (not) have.”

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