8/16/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
In the latest GideonGate development at the Coliseum on the Kennebec — A House Order was submitted Tuesday calling for the Maine House Ethics Committee to convene for a special investigation.
Republican Rep. Paula Sutton of Warren drafted and submitted the House Order. If it passes, it calls for the House Ethics Committee to investigate both Speaker of the Swamp Sara Gideon and embattled Democrat Representative Dillon Bates. You can see Rep. Sutton’s full House Order pictured below.
Rep. Bates is accused of having multiple relationships with minor girls while he was a teacher and track coach at — the now-closed — Maine Girls Academy.
As Maine First Media previously reported, the Democrat Speaker Gideon learned about the allegations — at the latest — about a half a year ago. At the time, she kept the matter private, held no official investigation and issued no punishment to Rep. Bates.
Fast forward to when the allegations were made public about two weeks ago, Speaker Gideon wasted no time in calling for Rep. Bates to resign.
The Speaker’s knowledge of the accusations and her lack of action warrant an investigation. What did she know and when did she know it? Was she covering for Rep. Bates in order to keep his vote and spare the Party embarrassment? Remember, Maine workers have been paying Rep. Bates salary in the meantime. And if he is guilty, how many more young Maine girls have been endangered because of the Swamp Speaker’s actions — or lack thereof?
And if it wasn’t a cover-up, and there isn’t evidence against Bates, then why is the Speaker of the Swamp now calling for him to resign? Doesn’t Rep. Bates deserve due process? Or, does the Speaker believe that anyone accused of any impropriety should resign, on the mere allegations alone? Does the Speaker not believe in the presumption of innocence? Or, does that founding principle not apply if the accused is causing embarrassment for the Speaker’s political Party?
Mainers deserve answers to all these questions. And if the allegations are true, the victims deserve justice, and Rep. Bates should pay for his crimes.
But it is important to note, the allegations were made in November, and still today, no criminal charges have been filed against Rep. Bates, who maintains his innocence and — through his attorney — calls the accusations “baseless.”
With the allegations now public, Rep. Bates’ reputation is suffering. If he’s guilty, then his reputation should be the least of his worries. But, what if he’s telling the truth? Rep. Bates deserves due process. An Ethics Committee investigation will help answer some of these questions.
House Republican Leadership, Rep. Ken Fredette and Rep. Ellie Espling have had little to say on Speaker Gideon’s involvement in the Bates case. One has to wonder if their silence has anything to do with the ongoing negotiations over Candidate Welfare and Tax Conformity. Under those circumstances, Rep. Sutton took a brave stand for the safety of young Maine girls and for the right of due process by filing her House Order.
Now we shall see if the Speaker of the Swamp allows Rep. Sutton’s House Order to come to a vote, and if so, which lawmakers have the stomach to vote for justice over political expediency.
Maine First Media will continue to update you on the latest GideonGate developments as they unfold.