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Cylvia Hayes Confesses to ‘Illegal Marriage’

Thursday, October 09, 2014


Cylvia Hayes admitted Thursday that she had an illegal marriage in which she was given $5,000 in order to help an Ethiopian immigrant gain U.S. citizenship.

“17 years ago, I made a terrible mistake and committed an illegal act,” Hayes, who is engaged to Governor John Kitzhaber, said at a press conference at Portland’s World Trade Center. “It was wrong then and it is wrong now.”

Hayes said she was prepared to accept whatever consequences would result from her public confession.

Hayes spoke for the first time to address allegations that she acted for the Governor’s office and had not disclosed a potentially fraudulent marriage to her fiancee, Governor John Kitzhaber.

She said, her fiancee, Governor Kitzhaber was “stunned” when he learned about her illegal marriage and that she did not disclose it to him before it was revealed in the Willamette Week because she was “embarrassed and deeply ashamed.”

She said the Governor had been loving and supportive of her in recent days and that she asked him not to attend the press conference because she's could not talk about the issue "without crying."

Hayes said she was attending Evergreen College at the time and that she was struggling financially and used the money given to her by Abraham B. Abraham to pay for “school expenses.” She divorced Abraham in 2001, according to The Oregonian.

“This was a difficult and unstable period in my life,” Hayes said. “I only met with him a few times.”

On Tuesday evening the Willamette Week also reported that Hayes may have committed ethics violations due to her dual role as a paid political consultant and volunteer activist at the Governor’s office.

Hayes refuted those charges energetically.

“I categorically disagree with the assumption in the Willamette Week article,” Hayes said. She said she consulted with attorneys about what she could do and not do at the Governor’s office.

Hayes said she would be spending time working on her relationship with the Governor.


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