Photographs captured Wednesday morning outside an Augusta apartment complex add yet more evidence to the claim that Maine Senate President Troy Jackson, a Democrat, doesn’t actually live full-time in his Aroostook County Senate District, as is required by the Maine Constitution.
Wednesday around 6:00 am, Jackson’s storied white minivan — complete with legislative plates that say “Maine Senate President” — could be seen outside of the apartment complex.
In addition, a buzzer panel in the entryway lists “Jackson / Pelletier”.
Jackson lives with his longtime girlfriend Lana Pelletier.
The question of where Jackson lives became the subject of controversy this week following a Maine Wire investigative report that revealed Jackson swore in Sept. 2019 mortgage agreement to make an Augusta house his primary residence for most of 2020.
In the agreement he signed, which was a Federal Housing Authority (FHA)-backed mortgage contract, Jackson pledged to make the North Belfast Avenue house his primary residence within 90 days of signing the agreement, and to keep it as his primary residence for at least one year.
At the same time, however, Jackson signed his name to several election filings and campaign finance reports submitted to the Maine Ethics Commission in which he claimed that Allagash was his primary residence.
Although Jackson refused to talk with the Maine Wire for our story, his office did provide comment to the Bangor newspaper when they reported on the Maine Wire’s story.
In a statement to the newspaper, Jackson’s spokeswoman Christine Kirby attacked this outlet and said the following:
“President Jackson lives in Allagash. It is the address on his license, where he votes, and where he receives his homestead property tax exemption. It’s also in the area where he grew up, where his kids grew up, and where his parents live. It is where he calls home.”
That remarkable comment may cause problems of its own for the top lawmaker. If Jackson never actually made the North Belfast Ave. house his primary residence, that means he provided false information in order to obtained the FHA home loan.
According to Jackson’s official statement via Kirby, rather than live in the Augusta home, Jackson instead provided false information in order to obtain a lower interest rate on a house by using a program designed to help low-income families purchase first homes, a house that he subsequently flipped for a more than $100,000 capital gain.
That could amount to mortgage fraud, as well as wire fraud, mail fraud, and real estate fraud.
Kirby’s statement did not address the insurance claim that Jackson and Pelletier filed for damages to the house, either.
In a 2020 lawsuit, the couple claimed that damages occurred prior to Sept. 2019.
That lawsuit, filed against Paul and Jane Godbout, alleged that the Godbouts concealed damages to the house prior to the sale and failed to disclose material defects with the house.
However, in the 2021 insurance claim, a copy of which was obtained by the Maine Wire, the couple claimed that the same damage happened after Sept. 2019.
That raises the question of whether Jackson and his partner provided false information to their insurance company, Travelers.
Kirby did confirm to the Bangor newspaper, after the Maine Wire reached out to ask about the photographs in this story, to confirm that Jackson is renting the Augusta apartment.