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Lewiston shooting commission granted subpoena power

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Lewiston shooting commission granted subpoena power

Feb 13, 2024 | 1:47 pm ET
By Emma Davis
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Lewiston shooting commission granted subpoena power
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Gov. Janet Mills speaks at an Oct. 26 press conference about the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. (Emma Davis/ Maine Morning Star)

Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation granting subpoena power to the Independent Commission to Investigate the Facts of the Tragedy in Lewiston on Tuesday, after both chambers of the Legislature unanimously approved the proposal. 

Some people have refused to voluntarily appear before the commission, the commission executive director Anne Jordan told the Legislature during a hearing last month. “It is actively needed,” Jordan said of subpoena power.  

The commission gained that authority immediately upon Mills signing the bipartisan measure on Tuesday, after it earned two-thirds support from each chamber to be enacted as an emergency measure.

The commission, established by Mills and Attorney General Aaron Frey in November, has met publicly four times so far. Commissioners have interviewed law enforcement officers about their interactions with Robert Card before he killed 18 people and injured 13 on Oct. 25. The commission has also heard from family members of the victims.  

During the commission’s first meeting in November, it requested that Mills and Frey introduce legislation providing the commission subpoena power, an ask that state officials swiftly followed through on. The legislation was sponsored by Maine’s legislative leaders: House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland), Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook), Senate Minority Leader Trey Stewart (R-Aroostook) and House Minority Leader Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor).

“I thank the Legislature for working with the Attorney General and me to deliver the Independent Commission the authority it needs to conduct a thorough examination of the facts surrounding the tragedy in Lewiston,” Mills wrote in a statement. 

The commission is next scheduled to meet on Thursday, when its seven members will be questioning Maine State Police. The commission is then scheduled to question members of the U.S. Army during its final meeting on March 7.