AUGUSTA — The former chief legal counsel of Republican Gov. Paul LePage is representing a company trying to get a state contract, and he’s confident his new position does not conflict with his past government service.

Avery Day filed papers with the Maine Public Utilities Commission saying he will be representing Northstar Industries in its bid to get a state contract to store natural gas in liquid form.

The commission’s three members were appointed by LePage. Day recently left the administration and said his new role wouldn’t include political work.

Day told The Associated Press on Thursday he’s not lobbying to influence legislation or working on an issue he substantially worked on during his government service.

“There’s some limitation on what I can do post government service,” Day said. He later added: “It’s not a matter I substantially participated in and I don’t have any confidential information.”

Day described the bid process as an administrative procedure, and said he wanted to make sure he was doing what is expected of former government employee to avoid “hot water” with the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar.

Maine electricity customers could pay up to $25 million a year in contracts for storing natural gas in liquid form. Northstar, representing Maine Energy Center, submitted a bid.

Maine legislators passed a law saying the commission could decide whether a contract would be commercially reasonable, among other things.

The idea is to reserve space in yet-to-be-built liquefied natural gas tanks and then convert the liquid back to gas in winter when prices spike.

LePage appointed Day as acting commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection in 2015 ,and as his chief legal counsel last year. Day had previously worked as a lobbyist at Pierce Atwood and also worked as LePage’s senior policy adviser on environmental and natural resources issues.

Day recently launched an Augusta law firm with lawyer Dan Stevens and announced Friday he would be appearing before various state agencies and regulatory boards in addition to handling wills, trusts and corporate formation.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: