Maine's top gambling regulator on paid leave following tweets
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's top gambling regulator has been placed on paid administrative leave following tweets posted from his personal account about women and a white nationalist group, spokesperson for the state's Department of Public Safety said Tuesday.
Milt Champion, executive director of the Gambling Control Unit, was placed on leave May 17 because of the tweets, Lt. Thomas Pickering, of the Maine Department of Public Safety, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
Champion’s case is “pending a review that is being conducted by the Bureau of Human Resources,” Pickering wrote. “Given that this is an ongoing, personnel-related matter, the department is unable to comment further.”
The chairperson and one member of the Gambling Control Board said they have no role in disciplining or supervising Champion, and that employment matters will be handled by Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck after the human resources review. Both said they had no further comment.
Messages sent to Champion weren’t returned.
The tweets were sent May 6 and May 14, and had been removed by Tuesday.
In one of them, Champion tweeted about being told it was inappropriate to refer to women as “ladies” and then added a pejorative term for women. In the other, he replied that “at least they are not burning down cities and looting stores” in response to a tweet about a white nationalist group marching on the U.S. Capitol.
Hired in 2016, Champion's profile has grown after state lawmakers approved sports betting last year. Maine launched the formal process of instituting sports betting in January by releasing proposed rules.
He has more than three decades of history in gambling, having taken part in opening casinos and later serving as a regulator in Florida and Maine.
The Associated Press