Maine turnpike authority names Peter Mills as interim director

Posted March 17, 2011, at 2:22 p.m.
Peter Mills
File photo | AP
Peter Mills

PORTLAND, Maine — Former state Sen. Peter Mills has been named interim executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority following the resignation of the former director amid questions about turnpike spending practices.

The Turnpike Authority board voted unanimously Thursday to appoint Mills to head the quasi-governmental agency, which oversees the 106-mile Maine Turnpike, which runs from Kittery to Augusta.

Paul Violette, who headed the agency for 23 years, resigned this month amid questions and growing criticism about turnpike finances and his leadership. The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee is investigating the $157,000 in gift certificates to upscale hotels and restaurants that Violette gave out to charitable organization and trade groups.

The turnpike authority board met for more than two hours in executive session Thursday morning before announcing its choice.

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