Maine State Police said they would get an outside entity to review a secretive center that gathers intelligence on citizens. It didn’t happen.
The promised external review came in the aftermath of a December 2022 loss of a lawsuit in federal court by a state trooper about the Maine Information and Analysis Center, the state’s so-called Fusion Center. It was claimed that some practices were illegal. The trooper’s lawsuit centered on retaliation for highlighting the center’s practices and he won.
Reporting said details of the review would be finalized as early as the following month, January 2023. MSP was waiting for a new colonel. Col. John Cote retired in September, 2022.
This law practice requested a copy of the results of that review under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, which is what governs access to public records. There was no report to disclose because the external review was not done.
Lt. Col. Brian Scott, if Maine State Police, said through the MSP’s attorney that they “did not do an external review” as had been “previously intended.”
“Now that our process involves a privacy officer from the [Attorney General]’s Office, doing an external review is no longer a priority. Consequently, we have no records responsive to your request.”
In reporting after the lawsuit, he was reported as saying that past reviews have made MSP “comfortable that the Center is compliant“ with the law, that improvements are continual, and they seek to “increase transparency when possible.”