AUGUSTA — The Maine House of Representatives on Thursday unanimously passed an order asking the Maine Supreme Judicial Court whether Bruce Poliquin can continue to serve as state treasurer.

The bipartisan move follows an opinion by Attorney General William Schneider advising Poliquin to insulate himself from his business dealings. The House order that passed Thursday asks the court to decide whether the treasurer’s involvement with Dirigo Holdings LLC over the past year would prohibit him from continuing to hold the office.

The order that passed was sponsored by Rep. Phil Curtis, R-Madison. Curtis’ order is a narrower version of the one Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, introduced earlier this week. 

Republicans felt some of the language in Dion’s order was political. House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland, said the order that passed Thursday more directly addressed the constitutional questions regarding the state treasurer’s office.

“Getting some clarity on this will benefit not only the current treasurer, but those who are elected to the post in the future,” Nutting said in a statement.

The vote follows weeks of political gamesmanship between Poliquin and Democrats. However, in remarks from the House floor, Dion insisted that his order was not political but designed to protect the integrity of the Constitution and the public trust in constitutional officers. 


He said much of the wording was lifted directly from AG Schneider’s opinion. 

“This is not language that I have crafted,” Dion said.

His argument apparently persuaded Republicans to introduce their own order, which is known as a “solemn occasion.”

House Majority Whip Andre Cushing, R-Hampden, said Republicans appreciated that the issue had been raised and supported the decision to have the court weigh in.

“The treasurer himself is pleased we are asking these questions,” Cushing said.

Rep. Ken Fredette, R-Newport, said both parties recognized that “nobody is above the law.”


Dion originally requested the AG opinion Jan. 18. The AG responded Feb. 10

Republicans had seemed reluctant to get involved in the matter. That changed this week when Dion announced Monday he planned to introduce a solemn occasion from the House floor.

The order asks whether Poliquin’s ownership of Dirigo Holdings LLC, a real estate business that runs the Popham Woods Condominiums in Phippsburg, violates the constitutional provision prohibiting the treasurer from engaging in commerce.

Schneider last month wrote that Poliquin should dissociate himself from Dirigo Holdings LLC. Poliquin announced this week that he plans to follow the AG’s guidance.

However, Dion wanted to know whether Poliquin could still serve, given that he could have been violating the Constitution for more than a year.

Poliquin has said he was too busy to be involved with Dirigo Holdings and that the company was effectively managed by a bookkeeper. However, the AG report noted that Poliquin is “the sole member of and registered agent for Dirigo Holdings LLC.” The report also noted that Poliquin is the sole signatory for the company checkbook. 

Poliquin has acknowledged that his appearance last year before the Phippsburg Board of Selectmen advocating for the Beach Club was a mistake.

It was unclear Thursday how long it will take for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to respond to the order. Poliquin, meanwhile, is reportedly interested in making a congressional run, following U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe’s decision to abandon her re-election bid. 

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