The City of Portland is pleased to announce that it has settled a lawsuit with the Maine Department of Health & Human Services regarding the retroactive withholding of more than $1.3 million in General Assistance reimbursement from the City for the period covering mid-June 2014 through February 2015. In early August of 2016, Justice Warren of Maine Superior Court ruled in favor of the City’s Rule 80C appeal, finding that the State’s withholding of GA reimbursement was improper. In late August 2016, DHHS appealed the Superior Court decision to the Law Court. In the months since, the City’s Corporation Counsel and the Maine Attorney General’s Office have worked out a settlement in which the City will receive $1.3 million today and DHHS will file a stipulation of dismissal, which will dismiss their Law Court appeal.
“We’re extremely pleased that we can put this matter behind us now. Reaching this mutual settlement with DHHS allows the City to recoup almost all of the reimbursement monies we were owed, and put an end to the costly legal proceedings,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “I want to thank Corporation Counsel Danielle West-Chuhta for the excellent job she has done in handling this case from the beginning and for working through all the details of the settlement.”
“I’m pleased that a settlement was reached, and I’d like to thank City Manager Jon Jennings and Corporation Counsel Danielle West-Chuhta for their hard work in ensuring a favorable result for the City and its taxpayers,” said Mayor Ethan Strimling. “I’d also like to thank former mayor Michael Brennan for his leadership on this matter back when it began as he understood the importance of this program and the services it provides to our most needy residents.”