Maine attorney general addresses relationship with staffer

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey has been in a relationship with a worker whom he supervised for months, and he said his delay in disclosing it was an “error in judgment.”

Frey, a Democrat, issued a statement late Tuesday in which he said Chief Deputy Attorney General Christopher Taub would supervise the worker moving forward “as this personal relationship continues.”

“This is to ensure that we have appropriate boundaries between us. I should have done this once we realized we had feelings for one another. It was an error in judgment and for that I am sorry,” he said.

A spokesperson representing Frey on the matter declined to answer questions from The Associated Press.

Frey, of Bangor, worked in a private legal practice, focusing on matters involving criminal defense and family law, before being elected to serve as attorney general under Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

Frey said that the romantic relationship “has not violated any legal rules, office policies or law” and that his statement suggested there would be no changes other than that his romantic partner will now be supervised by someone else.

Republicans, who are in the minority in state government, said they were reviewing Frey’s statement. Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham, the minority leader of the House, said he had concerns about Frey serving in the position after his admission.

“It’s deeply concerning and disappointing,” Faulkingham said during a news conference.

Frey said in the statement that his relationship with the subordinate began in August. The state workplace harassment policy requires supervisors who become personally involved with a subordinate “to report the relationship to their supervisors so that a change in reporting structure can be considered.”

The attorney general said he “has met and continues to meet all our legal obligations with the same dedication to and respect for the people of Maine.” He asked for privacy regarding “personal matters.”

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