Mills on the job in Maine

By John O'Brien | Jan 9, 2009


AUGUSTA, Maine (Legal Newsline) - Former state legislator Janet Mills began serving her first term as Maine's attorney general this week, having been sworn in Tuesday.

The state's Democratic lawmakers elected to make Mills Maine's first female attorney general in December. She previously served in the House of Representatives and was an assistant attorney general from 1976-1980.

"Today I begin the job of litigating, negotiating, arbitrating, mitigating, the job of resolving differences, of defending the people, of heading up a team of men and women who will represent the face of Maine people in the courts and in the public eye," Mills said Tuesday.

"And we will do so with integrity and with honor, to hold the beams and trusses of government sturdy against strong winds."

Mills is following Steven Rowe, who was unable to run again because he had reached his term limit. Rowe became attorney general in 2001 and was picked by the Legislature to retain the office every two years.

Mills worked as the district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties for almost 15 years and was president of the Maine Prosecutors Association for four years.

Since 1995, she has worked at Wright & Mills in Skowhegan. She was in her third term as a state representative.

Her bio page says her major areas of policy interests are education funding, health care, tax reform and judicial matters. She was chosen over Democrats Assistant Attorney General John Brautigam and Rep. Sean Faircloth, the majority whip of the House.

"Much of what we will do will not be heard or heralded," Mills said. "There will be few victory speeches; for the lives that are not lost; for the businesses and consumers made whole; for the workers returned to a job; for the child no longer abused; for the tribal member whose voice is heard; or for a citizen not denied due process.

"This will be our quiet work of solving problems diligently before they are known, not because they are known."

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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