LEWISTON – Gov. John Baldacci nominated Bangor attorney Michael P. Friedman on Tuesday to serve as the fifth member of the state’s ethics commission.

Friedman is the managing partner at Rudman & Winchell in Bangor, where he specializes in labor and employment law. He is a native of Old Town and graduated from the University of Maine and Northeastern University School of law.

“The statute requires the candidate to demonstrate judgment, integrity and objectivity,” Baldacci said in a prepared statement. “These are qualities that Mike has demonstrated during his professional career. I am pleased that Mike has agreed to be the nominee to this important commission.”

If he is confirmed by the Senate, Friedman will fill a spot on the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices that has been vacant for more than a year.

State law limits membership on the five-member commission to no more than two people from any political party. The membership includes two Democrats and two Republicans. Friedman is not enrolled in a political party.

On Friday, Democratic and Republican leaders and the Green Independent in the Legislature agreed on three names for Baldacci to consider. The three were Friedman, Donald Miskill, a retired naval captain from Orr’s Island, and Philip Worden, a lawyer from Seal Cove.

“Having been handed the names of three very qualified individuals, a thorough process was put into place,” Baldacci said.

Background checks were performed over the weekend, and the three were interviewed by members of the governor’s staff on Monday.

Friedman’s nomination now must be considered by the Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee and then be confirmed by the full Senate. No date has been set for the Senate to convene.

Independent gubernatorial candidate John Michael turned a spotlight on the ethics commission vacancy last week. Michael was scheduled to appeal a June decision by the ethics commission staff denying him as much as $1.2 million in public financing for his campaign. At the start of the hearing, Michael requested a delay, arguing that he could not get a fair hearing with only Democrats and Republicans sitting in judgment.

He asked that the proceedings be delayed until the fifth member of the commission was seated.

In a 2-1 vote, the commission agreed to grant the delay.

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