Last week, lawmakers on the Government Oversight Committee were outraged to learn information from a draft audit on Maine Green Energy Alliance had been leaked to the press.

At the committee’s Monday meeting, lawmakers decided to postpone any further action on the leak until they question Maine Green Energy Alliance and Efficiency Maine Trust staff at a hearing in two weeks.

State Sen. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro, a member of the committee, had asked the attorney general to investigate the leak because he said it may have violated the state law that governs investigations by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability. He agreed to suspend that request in light of the committee’s action.

Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, co-chairman of the committee, said, “All of us take it very seriously. A breach occurred here, this report was leaked to a number of legislators — not including anyone on this committee — and also to the press.” Katz proposed the full committee ask the attorney general to investigate the leak, but yielded to significant opposition by Democratic legislators, who wanted a delay.

Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, told the committee, “I agree with the chair that I want to find out what’s happened, what’s gone on, but before I would vote to send to A.G. I want to see in the next hearing and put off to after September 6th meeting.”

At the time of the leak, the draft audit, labeled “confidential,” had been distributed for comment by OPEGA executive director Beth Ashcroft to Efficiency Maine Trust Executive Director Michael Stoddard, the trust’s chief financial officer and alliance former Executive Director Seth Murray.

On Monday, Rep. Les Fossel, R-Alna, gave a preview of the concerns he may express at the Sept. 6 meeting.

““What we need is a report from Efficiency Maine Trust about what happened. How can we rely on what they report to the legislature when they violated that trust? It’s a failure somewhere in the leadership of Efficiency Maine Trust, and they need to address it that if they’re going to work effectively with the legislature,” he said.

The trust’s executive director, Stoddard, issued a statement later in the day:

“We take integrity and commitment to the legislative process, along with our commitment to energy efficiency, very seriously. At the follow-up public hearing on Sept. 6, we look forward to discussing what we’ve done to secure the public trust of Efficiency Maine: namely, by sharing how we’ve conducted our own internal audit, by cooperating with the U.S. Department of Energy on its investigation and subsequent commendation with our handling of the sub-contract, and about the internal measures we’ve taken with our Compliance Manual to ensure these situations don’t happen in the future. We look forward to an honest and rational discussion about the process.”