IS THERE MORE TO THE MAINE TURNPIKE AUTHORITY/MAINE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION THAN MEETS THE EYE?

2.9.12

BDN reports “Former Maine Turnpike Authority executive director Paul Violette pleaded guilty in Cumberland County Superior Court on Thursday to Class B theft charges.”
 
“Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said during Violette’s court hearing that the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the former turnpike head used approximately $155,000 in authority money on personal expenses, including gift cards to hotels and resorts in Canada, France, Italy, Bermuda and Puerto Rico.” “These are people who never imagined themselves in jail,” she said, calling the Violette case “the biggest public robbery case I’ve seen in my 28 years of public service.” “Robbin told reporters after the hearing Thursday that Violette exhibited a “significant abuse of power.”
 
The news reports that Violette is accused of theft by unauthorized taking.
 
Is the pot calling the kettle black?????
 
I “can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Asst. A.G. Leanne Robbin, in concert with Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn, “exhibited a significant abuse of power.” Aren’t these two government employees doing the same thing that Asst. A.G. Robbin’s is prosecuting Violette for?
 
Who will prosecute them?
 
Inquiry on the status of my correspondence to Secretary of State Charles Summers regarding possible election law violations dating back to 2004. (This was also brought to former Sec. of State Matthew Dunlap during his tenure.) Secretary Summers did not find that there was significant evidence to support an investigation.

Summers, C. Sec. of State’s reply, November 7, 2011.
Summers, C. Sec. of State, FOA REQUEST.
Summers, C. Sec. of State, reply to FOA, December 1, 2011

Julie Flynn, Deputy Secretary of State, Leanne Robbins, Asst. A.G.

Related.

1.20.12

PPH reports “The former executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority has been charged with felony theft and faces time in prison as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The state Attorney General’s Office said Thursday that Paul Violette was charged with unauthorized use of the turnpike authority’s gift cards and credit cards for personal travel, meals and other expenses exceeding $10,000 in value. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.”

********

Debate began in the late 1970’s to decide whether or not the Maine Turnpike should continue as a toll highway or become a “freeway.” Some citizens wanted the responsibility to maintain the roadway and construct new projects on the Turnpike placed under the jurisdiction of the Maine Department of Transportation. The Legislature also gave the Authority a directive to study the needs of new interchanges in urban regions to promote economic development and increased commercial activity. By allowing tolls to remain the Turnpikes revenue source, and the Turnpike Authority to manage the highway, valuable and increasingly limited state and federal transportation funding, generated by state and federal gas taxes, could be used to maintain the rest of Maine’s roads, bridges and highways.

History of the MTA

PPH reports “The resignation of the head of the Maine Turnpike Authority” and lawmakers are “pushing forward with their investigation of the authority’s spending and lobbying practices.”

Former state Sen. Peter Mills “will replace Paul Violette, who was executive director for 23 years until he resigned last week amid questions about the authority’s spending practices. The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee wants Violette and other turnpike authority executives and board members to appear at a hearing April 15. The committee has said it may issue subpoenas if they do not appear voluntarily, and has said people should be prepared to testify under oath.”  The Sun Journal reports, “Mills, an attorney, is noted for his open and direct manner of speaking and his enthusiasm for tackling difficult subjects.”

“Although the Legislature oversees the MTA’s operating budget, it has little oversight of the agency’s repair-maintenance budget, a $33 million fund in which a watchdog group discovered questionable expenditures.”

“The board agreed to hire Roger Mallar as a consultant. Mallar was Maine’s transportation commissioner under Govs. Ken Curtis, James Longley and Joseph Brennan.”

The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee will “examine the legality of the turnpike authority’s practices of withholding some budget information from the Legislature, lobbying state officials and giving money to dozens of organizations and trade groups.”  The committee is also concerned about “$157,000 worth of gift cards that the authority donated to organizations but could not explain with any documentation.”

Tom Dunn credentials

Bridge 1

Bridge 2

Bridge 3

DOT Chief Resigns

Tom’s Summary – Brennan Criminal Legacy

Bus Trip To DC

Brennan timeline

If Peter Mills is open to tackling difficult subjects (and won’t look the other way as he’s done with bank fraud), he should look into the MTA’s relationship with the MDOT and “friends” which began during the tenure of former Governor Joseph Brennan, per Tom Dunn’s investigation. Tom’s investigation was brushed under the rug by then Asst. A.G. Arthur Brennan who sits on the bench in York County Superior Court.

Isn’t it interesting that the MTA board hired Roger Mallar as a consultant? Mallar was Maine’s transportation commissioner under Governor Joseph Brennan.

Has anything changed? Will Governor LePage be in for another surprise? Will Peter Mills’ uphold his “integrity, experience and commitment to public service?”

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Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 11:28 pm  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Years ago I had alot of interaction with Tom Dunn, he was more informed and right on than I realized, We went to dis(Augusta) and gave evidence to the legislature on Brannan criminal activity, the lady providing the evidence (can’t remember her name sorry) was later set up and sent to jail, and the criminal Brennan went unscratched.
    It looks as if this new adm. is going to be business as usual as the same faces are being re-cycled.

  2. Hi!

    This is informative. Thanks for sharing.

    Lise from Maine

  3. Richard,

    If you worked with Tom, do you have any info/documents of his? I would post them. He was called in by the A.G.’s office to investigate for them. He came upon more than they anticipated. I want to add Tom’s video to my post. So revealing!

  4. If I have any of Tom’s documents (or copies) they could be in any number of boxes of docs, as I have been fighting the defacto gov. for many years and as most know they love papers.
    Was it not shortly after his investigating, and release, that his house caught fire?
    Richard Wayne:

  5. I don’t remember at which point in time that Tom’s home was torched. He was investigating so many cases which originally began with a request from the Attorney General’s office. He came up with more than the A.G. was expecting! I am working on getting a video up on this blog. So revealing!

  6. There is one aspect of accounting that needs to be looked at very closely. With the assertion of “Net” assets shown substantial “Advance forward liability funds” that for all intents and purposes are truly an asset will be masked as a “Liability” removed from the showing of net assets.

    EXAMPLE: If MTA has a liability fund “designated” for future development / maintenance / acquisition and all payments into this fund over the years was designated as a line item liability payment, in one respect those payments into the fund draws down the MTA’s year by year operating funds in effect possibly creating an operating budget shortfall (in effect a profit is transformed into a liability with those payments) and the standing balance of the fund which could exceed a billion-dollars is not reflected as an asset having been designated a “liability”.

    ** The way to pick up on a fund or funds of this nature is by careful scrutiny of the “Notes to the Financial Section” of MTA’s CAFR Maine Turnpike Authority 2010 CAFR – http://www.maineturnpike.com/pdf/MTA-Annual_Report_2010.pdf

    or the “Notes to the Financial Section” of the State CAFR. Maine’s CAFRs – http://www.maine.gov/osc/finanrept/cafr.htm

    Walter Burien – CAFR1

    PS: A site of interest that has much info on Maine is the “Sunshine Review” page – http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Maine_state_budget_%282010-2011%29#Accounting_Principles

  7. Thank you Walter. Lots of interesting information. I spoke with our State Treasurer about you and the CAFRs. He said that he would like to meet with you. I told him you are not just around the corner, but if you come to Maine I will certainly get you into his office…..when are you coming? Seriously……..arrangements can be made for your stay here.

  8. If he wants to meet me have him call me in as a paid consultant.

    I will take a detailed look and make detailed recommendations to take any and all tax liability off the shoulders of the Maine residents and make recommendations for a structure for state and all local governments in the state for revenue generation to meet their general purpose operating needs where the aspect of tax income is not needed at all AND the State of Maine will be from that point forward one of the most attractive States to live in, in all respects.

    In fact, after consult and presentation he can take the recommendations to the Maine voters for implementation.

    Walter – CAFR1.com

  9. This sounds like a good plan to me. I’ll see what I can do to get this going.

  10. I haven’t heard from Treasurer Bruce Poliquin yet. There’s alot of “nipping” going on in Augusta and the democrats are trying to get Poliquin “on the hook.” He’s fighting a battle up there.

    It’s only been 5 days since my correspondence to him. I’ll give him a few more days. I’ll keep you posted.

  11. In case any of you are wondering what ex-Sheriff Frank Hacket has been up yo, I did a web search and here’s what I came up with:

    http://www.autoremarketing.com/wholesale/naaa-ceo-hackett-shares-his-story


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