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Employee Theft:


The Janet Mills

Controversy Explained in Laymen Terms




By:  David Deschesne

Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal

November 21, 2018



   If a person goes to work at their job and is “on the clock” getting paid for their time, they should be doing the work they were hired to do.  If that person spends an hour out of an eight hour work day on their cell phone—and it’s not part of their job—they are in effect stealing when they accept payment for that hour which they didn’t work.

   Now, let’s suppose a person is working at the grocery store but is doing yard work and landscaping on the side.  Surely it would be wrong for them to give their work number out as a contact for their own private business venture.  If they begin accepting and returning calls for their landscaping service while working at the grocery store, that is also stealing.  The cumulative time they spent on the phone conducting their own business while being paid to perform work at their current job is stealing, when they accept payment for that time from the grocery store owner.

   This goes to the realm of common sense, but there’s not a lot of that going around today, since education  seems to be focused on not hurting anybody’s feelings instead of actually teaching people the proper way to function in society, so please allow me to belabor the point.

   If that same person working at the grocery store then offers snow plowing services and, without the approval of the store owner, leaves his job while he’s still “on the clock” in order to go plow snow for his own private business, he shouldn’t be paid for the time he’s not at the job, doing the work for the grocery store owner.  If he lies and puts down his time as being there (and no managers hold him accountable) then he will be stealing when he accepts pay for that work while he wasn’t actually there putting in that time.

   Expanded further, town and city government have their own employees, too.  Those employees work for various departments of the town, such as police, fire, public works, library, etc.  What if a head of a town’s Public Works department arbitrarily decided to start plowing snow in another town because he didn’t think that town was doing a good enough job, or simply needed more help.  Without the approval and consent of his own local town council to spend the money for that extra work, that Department Head would be just as guilty of theft as those employees in the previous examples.  Department Heads are managers of their department and as such, they are employees of the town or city in which they work.  They cannot legally use their time, their employees’ time, or the government’s equipment for their own personal gain or agenda, no matter how benevolent they perceive the reason to be.

   Let’s expand a little further.  Let’s say this particular Public Works chief decided on his own to go around to all other local towns and use his town’s equipment and fuel to plow out the driveways of the elderly and others who couldn’t afford it, then  charged the costs, such as fuel, labor and equipment maintenance to his own town’s budget.  Without council approval, he would be acting illegally, be guilty of theft and should rightly be fired, no matter how good his intentions were.  (Calm down, this is a hypothetical example, don’t take it seriously as an actual local Public Works chief doing this—or at least none that I’m aware of).

   How about an attorney?  When town or city government gets large enough, and the legal workload busy enough, they may create a legal department and hire a lawyer as an employee to head that department and represent them in legal matters.  Many large businesses, such as hospitals, already do this because it’s cheaper in many cases to hire a lawyer as an employee if they need one all the time, than it is sub-contracting one by the hour.

   Now we have a hypothetical example of a lawyer who is employed by a particular city government.  As head of that city’s legal department, he (or she, but I’ll default to the male pronoun here for simplicity of writing style) is a city employee.  If this particular lawyer starts entering into lawsuits unrelated to city business,  without his city council or even city manager’s approval, then he is being reckless and derelict in his duty as a department head.  As the city’s attorney he is not his own independent, autonomous branch of government and cannot without council approval enter into another private lawsuit, or even represent someone else, and put the city’s name on it because he has not been given the authority by his boss to do so—no matter how good or benevolent he perceives the lawsuit to be.  It would be theft to spend the city’s time on other lawsuits, or to even attach the city’s name to them as plaintiffs, without approval of the council.

   And here we have the crux of the Janet Mills controversy.  If you’re not aware of who Janet Mills is, or why she’s embattled in a legal controversy, it’s probably because she’s Maine’s Attorney General, is a Democrat, has recently been elected as Maine’s next governor and is a darling of the liberal media in Maine so they have either underreported this issue with her, or have skewed and slanted the story grossly to her favor.  So, let me see if I can help you readers to understand what she has done—and is currently being allowed to get away with—that essentially results in the same dereliction of duty and theft as mentioned in the previous examples you so patiently read through.


The Office of Attorney General

   All states, and even the U.S. government, have an Attorney General.  Like the city and businesses in the previous example, the Attorney General is a Department of that particular government’s infrastructure.  In Maine, the Attorney General is a lawyer who is elected by the State Legislature to head up the legal department for the State of Maine and represent the state in any legal matters that may arise.

   Maine’s Attorney General has a boss, just like the city-employed lawyer in the previous example.  As that lawyer had to report to either the legislative body (city council) or the city’s chief executive (city manager), Maine’s Attorney General is restricted by law to only do the work authorized by either the legislature or the Governor.  In this case, the State Legislature is equivalent to the aforementioned City Council and the Governor is equivalent to the aforementioned City Manager.

   Maine’s Attorney General position is a paid employee management position.  It is not a separate branch of government and the person employed by the State to manage that department is as accountable to the State Legislature and Governor as a Public Works chief is to his own town council and town manager. 

   The Attorney General cannot enter into lawsuits that are not authorized by the governor or legislature and certainly cannot legally sign the State’s name onto a lawsuit as a plaintiff without said authority from the legislature or governor.

   This is exactly what Janet Mills has done while she was Maine’s Attorney General.  But, since she’s a Democrat she’s being allowed a free pass by a liberal judge and the mainstream news media.  She will not, however, get a free pass in this newspaper.

   Here’s her back story…


Janet Mills’ Employee Theft

   In September, 2017 California, along with two other states and an assortment of liberal special interest groups, filed a lawsuit that sought to block the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)  program.  Mills joined that lawsuit as a co-plaintiff shortly thereafter and it was touted in the mainstream liberal press that “Maine joined” the lawsuit when in fact no such thing occurred at the legislative level.

   Mills claimed President Trump’s rollback of deportation protections “is a threat to justice itself” and would harm the Maine economy.  Mills had previously denounced the decision to end DACA and is now among 20 attorneys general nationwide challenging Trump’s move in two lawsuits.

   Whether or not Trump’s actions with DACA would harm Maine’s economy could be—and should be—debated within the legislative body.  The Attorney General does not, and should not, have the sole power to arbitrarily make a decision like that all by herself.  That’s what we have elected legislators for.

   While her motives may be well-intentioned, Janet Mills is abusing her office by entering into a lawsuit on behalf of Maine without approval from either the legislature or the governor.  This is the exact same scenario as previously described where the hypothetical city attorney started entering into lawsuits under the city’s name without approval of his own city council or manager.

   Shortly after Mills joined the federal lawsuit without permission of her authorities (governor or legislature), Governor LePage sued her, arguing that Mills acted without permission required from the Maine Legislature or the governor’s office. Predictably, the liberal Superior Court Justice, Michaela Murphy issued an order that sided with the attorney general. LePage has since appealed the decision, but over a year later, it still hasn’t been heard.

   “The Attorney General's position is that she can join any out-of-state lawsuit, for any reason, at any time, at any cost, as long as she says it's in the people's interest. That doesn't pass the straight-face test,” stated Governor LePage. “Janet Mills contends that her actions are not subject to the authority of the duly elected representatives of the Maine people, the Governor and the Legislature. As AG, Janet Mills acts as the de facto fourth branch of government, and she claims no one has veto power over her actions. She has gone completely rogue, and she believes she is above the law.”

   The statute (5 MRS sec. 191) states, “The Attorney General or a deputy, assistant or staff attorney shall appear for the State . . . in all the courts of the State and in those actions and proceedings before any other tribunal when requested by the Governor or by the Legislature or either House of the Legislature.”

   “This is a serious constitutional question, especially where the potential exists for Maine to have divided government between parties in the Executive Branch and the Legislature,” said Governor LePage. “The lawsuits where the Executive Branch and the AG are on opposing sides of the same lawsuit boil down to disagreements over policy. It's not in the best interest of the people of Maine to be on both sides of the same lawsuit and paying to be on both sides. The law is clear about how the determination as to the state's representation must be made: the AG must ask the Governor or the Legislature to join these out of state lawsuits.”

   Unlike the Judiciary, the Attorney General’s office is not a “separate but equal” branch of government.  It is a part of the Executive Department and thus accountable to the Governor and ultimately the legislature.  This makes for interesting politics considering the Governor is a conservative Republican and the Attorney General the legislature elected is a raging socialist/communist Democrat.

   Whether Mills actually is using time and/or money from her office to conduct the lawsuit is not clear.  When the Governor requested she provide that information (just as a city manager would of a city attorney in this type of situation), she completely ignored him, as if she as Attorney General had more power than the Governor—which the office of AG does not have.

   The legislature has been limp-wrested in forcing the issue and have essentially given her a free pass.

   So, this is the governor we have coming into power in January, 2019.   A governor who is a raging communist command and controller, who doesn’t follow the rules and does whatever she wants with the complete acquiescence of a milk-toast legislature, communist-run judicial system and highly supportive mainstream print and television news media.  But, what type of candidate for Governor did you expect the Democrats to run?  This type fits their mold and ideology perfectly!

  This type of brazen disregard for law, and setting up oneself as a petty tyrant is dangerous enough if a Republican does it, but history has shown that when authoritarian socialists get this kind of mindset and are handed this level of power, you end up with a Hitler (Socialist), Stalin (Communist) or Mao (Communist).

   No good has ever come from that.


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