A local attorney says his work in favor of allowing slot machines at Scarborough Downs stemmed from his long-standing support for horse racing in Maine.
Dan Warren of Scarborough was paid $30,000 by Penn National Gaming for consulting services in connection with last November's unsuccessful ballot initiative to allow slot machines at the track, according to documents filed with the Maine ethics commission.
The commission discussed the compensation last week because it was not reported by the Scarborough Village Partnership political action committee until January, even though Warren provided services before the November referendum.
Warren issued a statement Monday about the work in response to a Portland Press Herald story about the issue that appeared Friday. Warren said he could not be reached for comment before the article's publication because of a death in his family.
Warren explained that his firm, Jones and Warren, was asked by Ed MacColl, a University of Maine School of Law classmate and Scarborough Downs' attorney, to support the track's proposal. The firm's attorneys agreed to allow their names to be used, he said, and Warren was featured in some advertising advocating the slots.
Later, he said, slot machine proponents asked for some legal assistance, which the firm provided in exchange for the fee, he said.
The work included legal analysis and political consulting, he said.
The firm was paid a one-time fee of $30,000, he said.
"I'm glad we got involved," Warren said in the statement. "We would do so again to help horse racing."
The ballot initiative to allow slot machines at the Scarborough racetrack failed by 240 votes.
The issue of Warren's compensation came up last Thursday during a review by the state ethics commission of slot machine proponents' failure to file financial reports for a political action committee on time.
The commission fined the PAC $12,250.
The PAC spent about $135,000, and its sole contributor was Penn National Gaming, which runs the state's only slot machine parlor, Hollywood Slots, in Bangor.
The commission did not say the delayed reporting of Warren's service was a violation, and it was not part of the fine.
Opponents of the slot machine proposal criticized the failure to disclose payments to Warren until January, saying voters were not privy to the payments when considering Warren's advocacy for the project.
Warren noted that his firm's work did not include filing the financial reports.
Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at email@example.com
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