Lewiston mayor asks AG to investigate charter school applicant

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald asked for the Maine Attorney General's office to take action against a group that he said lied on its application to build a public charter school in the city.

He said the group has been linked to Turkish Islamic cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who has been the inspiration behind at least 120 charter schools throughout the U.S.

The schools are known for high academic achievements, but some are also under investigation for strange financial transactions, hiring teachers from Turkey over U.S. citizens, and spending taxpayer money on moving those Turkish teachers to the U.S.

Mayor Macdonald said when the city looked further into the group's application for a public charter school, they discovered letters of recommendation written by prominent members of the community were forged. The application also left questions about finances, which was a concern when the group applied to build a charter school in Bangor just over a year ago.

Mayor Macdonald said he's tried to contact the Maine Attorney General's office several times to spark an investigation into the group, but he hasn't heard anything in return.

The AG's office said a response letter was sent to Mayor Macdonald on Frida,y but it's possible he hasn't received it yet.
The letter in part says the office is aware of the situation but will need more time to review the information before determining whether a formal investigation should be launched.


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