I find Gov. Paul LePage’s blanket statement that middle management in state government is “about as corrupt as can be” deeply offensive, absolutely wrong and a major cop-out.

As one of many middle managers in state government, I am not corrupt. None of the middle or senior managers I know is corrupt.

Corrupt means taking bribes, stealing, breaking laws, etc.

In just the last three years, I have personally brought into Maine outside funding that exceeds 10 times my salary. That money is used to supply Maine with mapping data widely used in emergency management, E911, construction, economic development, protection of fish and game habitat, and supporting our state parks and lands. By analyzing my budget, I also have managed to cut 10 percent out of it each of the last three years. I work hard and hopefully engender trust among my colleagues. I am not and never been “corrupt.”

LePage claims that union protection of management causes this “corruption.” Doesn’t he understand his own executive branch? Most middle managers are “confidential” employees, not covered by union contracts. They can be terminated easily, without any union intervening, if they are corrupt.

Even if some managers are “corrupt” and represented by a union, the actions of the executive branch are still ultimately the governor’s responsibility. He cannot blame it on the union; the buck stops at the Blaine House. It is the governor’s job to work with the state government to enact his priorities and policies. He was not elected emperor.

I hope that the governor has misspoken and will issue a clarification. I would like to think that at the very least my boss does not think I am some kind of common thief or criminal.

Michael Smith


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