In a unanimous vote today, the six person Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices said Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland, co-chairman of the legislative committee that deals with energy issues, does not have a conflict of interest in voting on legislation regarding wind power by virtue of the fact his wife, Juliet Browne, represents several wind power developers at the Verrill Dana law firm in Portland.
Here is information about this commission from http://www.state.me.us/ethics/about/index.htm
The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices is an independent state agency that administers Maine's campaign finance laws, the Maine Clean Election Act, and the lobbyist disclosure law. It also issues advisory opinions and conducts investigations regarding legislative ethics.
The Commission consists of five members jointly appointed by the Governor and Legislative Leaders for three-year terms. The Commission is bipartisan, and no more than two members may be enrolled in the same political party.
The Commission meets monthly or bimonthly at the Commission's office at 45 Memorial Circle, Augusta, Maine. In the last 60 days before an election, the Commission must meet every two weeks.
The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, an independent State agency, guards against corruption and undue influence of the election process by state, county, and certain municipal elected officials by adopting procedures, rules, and regulations to conduct its duties promptly, fairly, and efficiently.
Five Commission members, appointed for their probity, judgment, and objectivity by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature, conduct ethics seminars, investigate and advise on apparent violations of ethical standards; administer the lobbying disclosure laws; administer and investigate violations of the campaign finance reporting laws and the Maine Clean Election Act; and manage the Maine Clean Election Fund. Commission meetings and hearings are public.
Walter F. McKee, Chair - Democrat - Hallowell
André G. Duchette - Democrat - Brunswick
Francis C. Marsano - Republican - Belfast
Margaret E. Matheson - Independent - Augusta
Edward M. Youngblood - Republican - Bangor