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Corrections Commissioner One Step Closer 

A legislative panel has endorsed Joseph Ponte as State Corrections Commissioner, making his senate confirmation a near certainty.Governor Paul LePage’s nominee received a strong 10-2 vote of approval on Monday from the criminal justice and public safety committee.Ponte has held administrative positions in corrections systems in several other states. His resume shows he’s also worked for a secluded firm that runs prisons, including Corrections Corporation of America, his employer since 2006. Governor LePage said Ponte’s association with C.C.A. should not be taken as a gesture favoring privatization of Maine’s prison system.