Gov. Paul LePage has come to the defense of Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro in an email to the bank that reportedly fired Isgro over controversial social media comments.

In an email from LePage to Skowhegan Savings Bank CEO and President John Witherspoon that circulated Wednesday morning on social media, the Republican governor wrote that the bank has “fallen pray [sic] to the leftist hate ideology that refuses to recognize free speech.”

“Your decision to discharge Nick Isgro is a mistake you will likely come to regret,” wrote LePage, who served as Waterville mayor prior to running for governor in 2010.

[Despite Trumpian rhetoric, Waterville mayor shows he’s not ready to be the next LePage]

Isgro, a Republican who briefly considered a gubernatorial run, has been under fire since he posted a critical tweet aimed at David Hogg, a survivor of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Hogg has become a national activist for gun control and school safety measures. In response to another tweet regarding comments Fox News host Laura Ingraham made about Hogg, Isgro tweeted “Eat it, Hogg.”

[Maine mayor faces recall drive after taunting Parkland student on Twitter]

Among the fallout is the recent launch of a recall petition by local residents, including former mayor Karen Heck, a Democrat.

LePage told the Waterville Morning Sentinel that he views his email as a defense of the First Amendment right to free speech.

LePage’s communications staff confirmed Wednesday that LePage sent the email.

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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.