Southern Maine Casino Backers Appealing $500,000 Ethics Commission Fine

Jan 23, 2018

The groups that pushed an unsuccessful ballot measure to build a casino in York County are appealing a $500,000 fine by the Maine Ethics Commission.

The fine — a record penalty by the Maine Ethics Commission — was assessed several days before voters rejected the casino initiative in a landslide vote in November.

Lisa Scott, sister of controversial gambling developer Shawn Scott, bore the brunt of the penalty by the five-member committee. It found that the campaign committees Lisa Scott controlled obscured its funding sources for more than year — a violation that could have led to a fine of $4 million.

The commission lowered the fine, but now Scott’s attorneys are arguing in Maine Superior Court that the penalty should be stricken altogether. In the appeal, the attorneys say the commission was biased in its decision and that the penalty assessed was arbitrary and capricious.

Shawn Scott was not fined by the commission. But documents from its investigation revealed he directed the campaign while his partners provided the majority of its funding.