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Arden Manning

Cutler Files Investigation Records Released

In response to a Freedom of Access request from several journalists, the Maine Ethics Commission has just released a stack of documents related to their investigation into the Cutler Files website, including memos sent from staff to commissioners and hand-written notes from interviews conducted with a wide range of political figures.

In sending the information, Commission Executive Director Jonathan Wayne cautioned against releasing the documents widely due to "the risk that people will misinterpret them for political motivations or simply for the pleasure of taking a shot at a public figure or political party."

He also added a caveat to the content of an investigative memo sent to the Commissioners.

[I]n the October 17 investigative memo to the Commissioners, I included a working theory concerning the Cutler Files website (pages 2-3 of the memo).  At the time I wrote the memo, Dennis Bailey and Thom Rhoads declined to be interviewed in depth, so the memo necessarily contained some speculation which was so noted for the Commissioners.  Having completed the investigation, I would say now that my description may have overstated the involvement of the Scarcelli campaign in the research that Thom Rhoads conducted at home.  So, please be aware of that as you read the October 17 memo.

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