AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Gov. Paul LePage has announced the leaders of a special commission to investigate Maine's unemployment compensation system.
LePage said Tuesday that George Jabar, a practicing Waterville attorney who serves as a commissioner for Kennebec County and Daniel Wathen, a former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, will co-chair the commission.
The announcement follows criticism that LePage pressured unemployment hearing officers, who decide unemployment benefit appeals, to decide more cases to favor business. The Maine Employment Lawyers Association is also asking federal labor officials to look into the claims.
LePage calls the request for a U.S. Labor Department investigation "politically motivated." He says the commission is being formed to ensure the state's unemployment system "provides benefits for workers who are rightly entitled to them."