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Former Maine Turnpike Head Subpoenaed
04/01/2011 3:34 PM ET  

A legislative committee is seeking to find out what happened with $157,000 of Turnpike Authority money that officials have said was spent on gift cards donated to various organizations.

The former head of the Maine Turnpike Authority is being subpoenaed to testify before a legislative panel on April 15. Paul Violette resigned recently amid a legislative probe of agency spending. That includes $157,000 in gift cards Violette said he had donated to various organizations, but failed to keep records of.
Sen. Roger Katz, the Augusta Republican co-chairing the Government Oversight Committee, says that as of this week, Violette was the only top Turnpike Authority official to not agree to testify.

"We still really haven't had satisfactory answers about where this $157,000 in supposed gift cards went, so we asked Mr. Violette, as well as other senior Turnpike officials, as well as at least two or three board members on the Turnpike, to come and talk with us on the 15th and talk about where the money went," Katz says. "Although the Turnpike Authority has told us that the $157,000 went to gift cards and those gift cards went to charitable organizations, the information we have so far suggests that neither is completely true."
Last Friday, the committee voted to issue a subpoena if Violette were to refuse to tesify. The vote was 9 to 1, with state Rep. Andrea Boland, a Democrat from Sanford, casting the dissenting vote.


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