Waxman Loses Ethics Complaint Against Mayor – Democrats Divided

By Carol McCracken

By a unanimous vote, Dory Waxman’s ethics complaint against Mayor Ed Suslovic was dismissed. The matter was heard by the Ethics Committee in Augusta early yesterday afternoon. Waxman charged the Portland Mayor with using comments from colleagues on his web page as endorsements for his re-election to the city council when they were not. Waxman, a newcomer to politics, is running for Suslovic’s at-large seat on the Portland council. Maine State Law’s interpretation is very broad in this area – leading some to believe that Waxman had a reasonable case against the Mayor. The Ethics Committee did not see it that way.

Suslovic who supported the winning developer Olympia Co. for the redevelopment of the Maine State Pier has been the political target of some of his fellow democrats since supporting Olympia. Democrats from Senator George Mitchell right down the line to local politicians on the city council supported Ocean Properties. Consequently, some democrats have sought to replace the Mayor with Dory Waxman as punishment for his independence.

There is a third candidate in the at-large seat for city council.  Tina Smith, a Hill resident, is the Green candidate.  She was not involved in this controversy.

Dory Waxman has a community relations business of her own – In Good Hands. While some have said she has served as a lobbyist for Ocean Properties that is not so. According to the Secretary of State’s office in Augusta, Waxman has never been a registered lobbyist for Ocean Properties or anyone else. However, in response to an email on the subject of lobbying, Waxman said: “Ocean Properties hired me for 4 months to do contract work as their community liason, to bring their plan to Portland residents. They had their own lobbyists who were there to sell their idea/plan once I planned the events.” Presently Waxman is the community liason for Northern Utiliies.

Waxman’s email noted that the last time she was paid by Ocean Properties was in September of 2008 – last month.