Labor Mural Lawsuit Next Steps Determined; Case Not Over Despite Claims by the Governor That It Is, Say Plaintiffs’ Attorneys

One of the Panels from the Labor Mural at the Center of a US District Court Lawsuit

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 770)

At a status conference yesterday between all attorneys in the case and U.S.  District Judge Woodcock, the  parties agreed that the plaintiffs will provide a proposed stipulation of facts to the court by May 24th.   This document will be a statement of undisputed facts in the lawsuit filed by plaintiffs against Governor Paul LePage for secretly removing a commissioned labor mural from a reception area at the Department of Labor, Augusta, on March 26th. 

On April 1, attorneys Jon Beal and Jeff Young, McTeague Higbee, filed a motion to compel Governor LePageto return the labor history mural to the Department immediately in order to avoid a long-drawn out court proceeding.  That motion was denied by Judge Woodcock.  Plaintiffs and others say that the Governor broke the contract with the mural artist when he had the mural secretly removed with no notification about the move with the painter from Tremont, Maine.

According to the press release just received from the plaintiffs attorneys,  following the May 24th deadline, the attorney for the State has until June 2 to propose any additional facts.  Plaintiffs’ attorneys will then have until June 9 to respond to the proposed additional facts.  The State will then file an answer to the Company on June 13 and file a motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss the case by June 17th.

“If the governor continues to refuse to listen to the will of the people and does not put the mural back in its place, this case will most likely continue until at least  August,” said Jeffrey Neil Young, one of the plaintiffs’ counsel.  “The fact is, this fight over the mural is over more than a work of art – it’s a fight to retain the history of Maine workers and it’s a fight to demand respect for our workers from our government.”  Young further stated that if the summary judgment motion is denied, a trial in the case could take place later this year.

Jonathan Beal, one of the original plaintiffs in the lawsuit, has withdrawn from the case so that he can continue to serve as co-counsel in the lawsuit.