AUGUSTA, Maine — Workers testifying on behalf of a threatened minimum-security state prison have been warned that Maine Gov. Paul LePage is watching.

A memo sent to staff at the Downeast Correctional Facility told them that they could not testify on the clock or in uniform. The director also told workers that the state corrections commissioner warned that the Republican governor “will be watching closely.”

The Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee on Monday heard testimony on a proposal to keep the prison open until a study of its value.

If it closes, about 50 people would lose their jobs, but supporters said there would be a ripple effect in a struggling part of the state.

Democratic Rep. Robert Alley said there’s enough stress about the potential closing without the implied threat against workers.

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