On Nov 21, the Sun Journal reported that an investment made in Mainsail by State Treasurer David Lemoine “was a risky investment going in, but they thought it would be worth it.” The article went on, “Lemoine said the department will no longer invest tax dollars into such risky ventures.”

A week later it is reported that “Lemoine said that, prior to the downgrade, there was no reason to suspect that Mainsail was anything but a good investment from a trusted broker at Merrill Lynch.”

The people of Maine deserve honesty from their government officials. No amount of spinning the situation changes the fact that the state treasurer’s office was well aware that the investment in Mainsail was risky.

The first objective of investments of the state cash pool is “Preservation of capital and protection of investment principal.” Putting taxpayer money into a “risky investment” neither protects capital nor investment principal.

The last objective of investments of the state cash pool is “Attainment of a competitive rate of return.” It strikes me that when a “risky investment” became “worth it” because of the potential returns, we have disregarded the first object of investments of the state cash pool, which is the protection of taxpayer money.

Lemoine should appear before the Legislative Council and fully explain how this “risky investment” of taxpayer money came about. We’ve seen more than enough lack of accountability in Washington. We should not let same culture infect Augusta.

David Hughes, Lewiston

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