AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has agreed to halt the removal of equipment from a minimum-security state prison that’s emptied of inmates.

Attorneys representing the state Department of Corrections and the Washington County Commission told a judge Wednesday that they’ve begun negotiations.

Commission Chairman Chris Gardner said that the fate of Downeast Correctional Facility should be up to lawmakers, not the governor, who removed inmates last week.

Lawmakers have funded the facility through June, and the commission has filed an injunction to prevent LePage from taking steps that would make it impossible to keep the prison open.

LePage’s office declined comment.

Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills declined to represent the corrections department. Mills is running for governor, and her office has said LePage can’t unilaterally shut down a state prison.

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