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Republicans Call for State Investigation Into Kitzhaber’s Office

Friday, October 10, 2014

 

Republicans call for investigation into Gov. John Kitzhaber's office.

Oregon Republicans are calling for an investigation into reports that Cylvia Hayes, fiancée of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, used her role in the governor’s office for private gain. 

“It’s not just inappropriate, it’s illegal,” Bill Currier, Oregon Republican Party vice chairman, said Thursday. 

Hayes may have committed ethics violations given her dual role as a paid political consultant and volunteer activist in the governor’s office, the Willamette Week reported earlier this week. 

“We don’t view her as simply the fiancée of the governor,” Currier said. “He has made it clear that they come together. If you’re working with him, you’re working with her, because he’s included her or inserted her into many of the major decisions being made.

"She’s joining him in an advisory role to the governor and she’s benefiting privately from that relationship.” 

The campaign for Kitzhaber’s opponent, state Rep. Dennis Richardson, pounced on the news. 

“At the very least it’s unethical. It may be criminal,” said Meredith Glacken, Richardson’s campaign spokeswoman. “The governor and the first lady are not above the law, and the state needs to take immediate steps to investigate this matter.” 

Glacken called on the State Ethics Commission to review the claims. 

“It falls into a pattern of a lack of oversight that the governor has shown again and again with Cover Oregon, with the Columbia River Crossing, with DHS modernization, with the fact that our schools are still ranked next to last in the country,” Glacken said. 

State officials, however, said it was unlikely that the Department of Justice would launch an investigation on its own, but that it would likely respond if someone filed an election complaint.

The governor's office did not immediately respond to calls from GoLocalPDX requesting comment.

 

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