AUGUSTA, Maine — Former Governor Paul LePage took to his Facebook page Monday to express his frustrations with the Portland Press Herald rejecting his editorial regarding the Riverview Psychiatric Center.
In March, Maine lost its fight in a yearlong battle involving the psychiatric hospital and $72 million in funding that federal officials want back.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected former GOP Gov. Paul LePage's last effort to keep Maine from repaying the funds.
LePage post states, “The people of Maine need the truth about what is going on in Augusta. The Portland Press Herald’s editors continually do not share the truth. They wrote an op-ed about Governor Mills paying the federal government $81 million dollars and dropping the Riverview lawsuit, praising her for doing so.”
Federal officials in 2017 said Maine must repay $51 million in federal funding used for Riverview while it was decertified. The penalty's since grown.
The statement, which was posted around 7:30 p.m. Monday night includes the actual editorial sent to the Press Herald.
LePage said, “Not only did the editors not bother to tell the truth about the legal issues involved, but they refused to print my op-ed in response, only allowing my much shorter letter to the editor to be published in response.”
Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich said the publication never refused to publish the former governor’s piece they simply asked him to shorten it.
"(This) is a common practice in our business where space is always at a premium," said Kesich.
LePage's edited piece was published in the Maine Sunday Telegram, the paper's largest circulation edition.
"That’s not where we would put something if we were trying to hide it from readers," said Kesich.
"It’s ironic that Gov. LePage is so interested in having his words appear in the Press Herald now, considering the way he refused to cooperate with our reporters during his eight years in office," Kesich said.
NEWS CENTER Maine reached out to Governor Janet Mills’ office and is waiting for a response.
You may read former Governor Paul LePage entire editorial by clicking here.