Maine’s top gambling regulator on paid leave following tweets

Milt Champion
Milt Champion(WABI)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 7:56 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s top gambling regulator has been placed on paid administrative leave following tweets posted from his personal account about women and a white nationalist group, spokesperson for the state’s Department of Public Safety said Tuesday.

Milt Champion, executive director of the Gambling Control Unit, was placed on leave May 17 because of the tweets, Lt. Thomas Pickering, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

Champion’s case is “pending a review that is being conducted by the Bureau of Human Resources,” Pickering wrote. “Given that this is an ongoing, personnel-related matter, the department is unable to comment further.”

Messages sent to Champion and members of the Gambling Control Unit were not immediately returned Tuesday.

The tweets were sent May 6 and May 14, and had been removed by Tuesday.

In one of them, Champion tweeted about being told it was inappropriate to refer to women as “ladies” and then added a pejorative term for women. In the other, he replied that “at least they are not burning down cities and looting stores” in response to a tweet about a white nationalist group marching on the U.S. Capitol.

Hired in 2016, Champion’s profile has grown after state lawmakers approved sports betting last year. Maine launched the formal process of instituting sports betting in January by releasing proposed rules.

He has more than three decades of history in gambling, having taken part in opening casinos and later serving as a regulator in Florida and Maine.