AUGUSTA (AP) — Republican Gov. Paul LePage says his long-running dispute with Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves should be settled in the political arena, not in court.

In Friday filings in the U.S. Court of Appeals, LePage said he was exercising his executive budgeting activity when he said he’d withhold $1 million in “discretionary funding” if a Fairfield nonprofit operating a charter school hired Eves as president.

LePage said Eves “worked his entire political career” against charter schools.

U.S. District Judge George Singal ruled in LePage’s favor, concluding he was entitled to qualified immunity for his actions.

Eves has appealed and seeks a court order barring LePage from violating “constitutional rights.” His attorney called it “dangerous” that LePage argues his actions are “above the law.”

A hearing is scheduled for October.


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