Ethics panel to release results of probe into PAC transfers by Sen. Andre Cushing

AUGUSTA — The Maine Ethics Commission is poised to release findings this month in its investigation of Senate Assistant Majority Leader Andre Cushing and a complaint by his sister that he improperly transferred money between a political action committee he controlled and his campaign, personal and business accounts.

The commission, which oversees Maine campaign finance laws, is due to take up its case against the Newport Republican on Aug. 30 and could vote on whether to exonerate or issue a fine or other penalty against him.

Cushing’s sister, Laura Cushing McIntyre of Hermon, filed a complaint in October 2016 that prompted the commission to investigate the allegations. McIntyre also has filed a lawsuit against Cushing, his wife and his adult children in Penobscot Superior Court over the alleged transfer of more than $1 million from a family business to his personal and campaign accounts. That suit is pending, Walter McKee, McIntyre’s Augusta-based attorney, said in an email Friday.

Cushing has denied any wrongdoing in either case. Cushing and his attorney, former Republican lawmaker Joshua Tardy, did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

The lawsuit, also filed last October, claims Cushing misappropriated money from The Cushing Family Corporation with unapproved loans, real estate commissions and other transfers to himself or business entities in which he held an interest. McIntyre is seeking punitive damages and her share of the misappropriated money.

Although the civil suit and the commission’s investigation both deal with the transfer of funds between Cushing’s private accounts and his political ones, the proceedings are not connected. Jonathan Wayne, the ethics commission executive director, has said the outcome of the civil case has no bearing on the commission’s findings.

McIntyre, who owns 11 percent of the shares in The Cushing Family Corporation, alleges in her suit that her property was improperly diverted by Cushing and allied…

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