AUGUSTA, Maine — Two Republican state senators who have been accused of violating legislative reimbursement rules have requested a hearing in an effort to clear their names.

Sens. Andre Cushing of Newport and Ronald Collins of Wells, who are both seeking re-election in a contentious battle between Republicans and Democrats to win the Senate majority, have requested a special meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Conduct and Ethics as soon as possible.

“I don’t believe I have done anything wrong, but if I have, I want to address it immediately,” Collins said in a written statement.

Cushing, who also has been accused by his sister of intermingling personal and campaign funds, said he wants both sets of allegations against him examined. In a separate communication Tuesday, his attorney told the state ethics commission that he “invites your staff’s thorough review of the allegations” made by his sister.

The ethics commission is scheduled to discuss Wednesday whether to launch an investigation of those allegations.

“I take full responsibility for my actions, but I do not feel I have violated any state or legislative rules as to how I have made use of travel reimbursements,” Cushing said. “I look forward to a fair hearing of the facts.”

The senators’ request comes a day after they were accused by Democratic Sen. John Patrick of Rumford of fraudulently collecting taxpayer-funded travel reimbursements. At issue is whether the senators double-dipped by collecting the travel reimbursements from the Legislature’s budgets and then charged their own political action committees for the same travel.

Cushing charged more than $3,100 in travel in 2014 and 2015 to his political action committee, but that money also was reimbursed to him with taxpayer money. Last week, he blamed the discrepancy on bookkeeper’s errors and said he planned to reconcile personal and political accounts.

Collins’ campaign pre-paid $2,400 for Augusta hotel costs in 2014 but was reimbursed by taxpayers. Senate Republicans, in support of Collins, have noted that state law allows leftover campaign funds to pay for “any expense incurred in the proper performance of the office to which the candidate is elected.”

Collins’ and Cushing’s requests for a hearing went to Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau of Winterport, who has the sole authority to convene the Senate Standing Committee on Conduct and Ethics. Democrats on Monday called for a hearing of the same committee.

Thibodeau said he has forwarded the requests for a hearing to Sen. David Burns, R-Whiting, who chairs the committee and asked for the committee to convene “as soon as possible.” Thibodeau criticized Democrats on Monday for the timing of their complaints, saying they “have had nothing to say about it” until election season.

“I am confident the committee will find no wrongdoing and will see these allegations for what they are: election-year mudslinging,” Collins wrote in his letter to Thibodeau. Collins is a member of the ethics committee but stated he will recuse himself from all discussions involving himself.

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.