Swamp Speaker’s Mixed Messages in Case of Democrat Lawmaker Accused of Misconduct with Minors

8/9/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,

The Speaker of the Swamp knew of the allegations that a member of her legislative caucus had inappropriate relationships with minor girls — at the very latest — in March.

At the time she did nothing. Now, Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) is calling for Rep. Bates to resign. So, the question becomes, has Speaker Gideon seen new and compelling evidence against Rep. Dillon Bates (D-Westbrook)? If so, the victims of the alleged crime and the Maine public deserve to know of this incriminating evidence.

Speaker of the Swamp, Sara Gideon (D-Freeport)

 

Or did the Speaker simply wait to act until the story became public?

And if the latter is the case, she allowed a man accused of misconduct with minor girls to hold the honor of representing Mainers, she put young girls at risk, and she allowed the accused to collect a paycheck — funded by hardworking Maine parents — for several months.

Which is it Madame Speaker? Do you have new incriminating evidence? And if so, when will you share it with Maine people?

Or, did you not care to act until the story broke publically causing embarrassment to the Maine Democrat Party?

In other words, if Swamp Speaker Gideon didn’t think Rep. Bates should resign back in March, what has changed since then — other than the public learning of the allegations?

Speaker Gideon’s mixed messages are frustrating lawmakers like Rep. Paul Chace (R-Durham).

“Honestly the Speaker is only one of 151,” Rep. Chace said. “I don’t believe we gave her the authority to be asking anyone to do anything. We have a Legislative Council and Government Oversite Committee and other due process mechanisms like the Ethics Committee, which probably should have been initiated when this first became known.

Rep. Chace wonders if Speaker Gideon is putting the cart before the horse by requesting a resignation before there’s an investigation.

Rep. Dillon Bates (D-Westbrook)

“I think everyone is afforded due process and incrimination by witnesses or subjects have to be looked at and substantiated — which I am not completely sure of what took place,” Rep. Chace said. “The Speaker is not the Democratic House Leader. She is the House Lead and as such should be acting with respect to the body and not the party. She should be calling an inquiry.”

Late last week the story broke accusations that Rep. Bates was involved in relationships with at least three young girls, including relationships during his time as a coach and music and drama teacher at Maine Girls Academy private school.

The 30-year-old Rep. Bates abruptly resigned from his position at Maine Girls Academy in November following the allegations.

Maine Girls Academy closed in June citing financial problems.

This week, Rep. Bates resigned from his position as track coach at Massabesic High School. He has been coaching the boys for several years now and was slated to coach the girls as well when the new school year rolled around. That will no longer happen.

To be clear, there have been no charges brought against Rep. Bates, and he is calling the allegations “baseless.” He says he will not resign from his position in the Maine House and he will serve out the remainder of his term. Earlier this year, Rep. Bates announced he would not be seeking a third term in office.

It also should be noted The Bollard piece that broke this story has no on-the-record sources and shows no concrete evidence.

If the allegations are true, then Rep. Bates should not only be removed from the Maine House, but he should spend time in prison for abusing his power and endangering the welfare of multiple young girls.

However, no one should be tarred and feathered and assumed guilty on allegations alone. You may recall the case of Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore last year. Rep. Bates deserves due process.

However — along with a criminal investigation — that due process should include a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee. In fact, Rep. Paula Sutton (R-Warren) is calling for the Ethics Committee to investigate the accusations made against Rep. Bates. It would be the first Ethics Committee investigation since 2009.

But Speaker Gideon doesn’t have to wait on a House Order or a vote. As Speaker, she has the power to call for an investigation. In fact, the 2009 Ethics Committee investigation was called for by then-Speaker Hannah Pingree.

Has the Speaker of the Swamp called for an investigation? No. Instead, without any announcement of personally seeing any new evidence against Rep. Bates, the Swamp Speaker waited until the story broke and only then immediately called for his head.

“The allegations made against Rep. Bates are deeply troubling,” a statement released by Speaker Gideon’s office last Friday read. “I cannot condone this behavior, I value the voices of the young women who came forward and I have requested that Rep. Bates resign from office immediately.”

 

 

But, apparently, the Speaker of the Swamp Sara Gideon COULD condone this behavior, and the allegations weren’t all that troubling to her back in March, while the legislative session was in full swing? Because she didn’t request he resign from office immediately when she first learned of the incident.

In fact, Rep. Gideon’s spokeswoman had this to say about when the Speaker first learned of the allegations nearly half a year ago.

“We confronted Rep. Bates immediately, who denied the rumor, and we were unable to otherwise find any substantiation, actual proof or evidence of any victims of the allegations,” Casale said. “At that point, we told Rep. Bates that if any evidence or new information was presented that indicated there could be truth to what was then a rumor, that we would ask him to resign immediately.”

So, what’s the new evidence? Because several months after first learning of the accusations — as you saw — Speaker Gideon did call for Rep. Bates to resign.

It is for that reason, that while Rep. Sutton is doing the correct thing in calling for an investigation into potential misconduct by Rep. Bate — Speaker of the Swamp Sara Gideon absolutely needs to be investigated as well.

And for that matter, House Leadership — Rep. Erin Herbig (Democrat running for State Senate) and Rep. Jared Golden (Democrat running for Congress) should also be investigated to find out what did they know and when did they know it. Mainers deserve to know if there has been a cover-up. Rep. Bates deserves due process. And most importantly if the allegations are true, those young girls deserve justice.

If Swamp Speaker Gideon has new evidence — for the sake of justice for the victims — come out with it.

However, if the Speaker doesn’t — why did she allow Rep. Bates to collect a paycheck from Maine taxpayers and only call for his resignation once he became a source of embarrassment for the Democrat Party?

And we should add, Rep. Bates is embarrassing the Maine Democrat Party at a time when House Democrats (colluding with Senate RINOs) are locking horns with House Republicans over Candidate Welfare during this never-ending legislative session.

And he is embarrassing the Maine Democrat Party right before the 2018 Midterms really swing into action after Labor Day.

The question is, are those the true motives for the resignation calls by Speaker of the Swamp Sara Gideon?


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