UPDATED: Richardson Asks U.S. Attorney to Investigate Kitzhaber, Hayes
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Richardson sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall, asking the feds to investigate whether Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, and his fiancee, First Lady Cylvia Hayes, knowingly devised a scheme to defraud Oregonians their right to honest services.
Kitzhaber and Hayes are already facing two ethics complaints, one filed by the Oregon Republican Party and one filed by state Rep. Vicki Berger, R-Salem.
The filings come after the Willamette Week published an expose on Hayes, accusing her of ethics violations and stating that she has profited as a political consultant due to the access she has as the governor's fiancée.
Kitzhaber's campaign blasted Richardson for playing politics, less than two weeks before election day.
“Dennis Richardson is wasting the US Attorney's time and taxpayer dollars with an obvious political stunt," Kitzhaber's campaign spokeswoman Amy Wojcicki said. "He is not a serious candidate for Governor.”
Kitzhaber has also requested the ethics commission provide an opinion on whether Hayes is a public official and subject to the ethics laws.
The letter Richardson sent to U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall asks her office to find out whether Kitzhaber and Hayes broke federal or state ethics laws “by using their official roles and taking official action in exchange for private financial gain.”
Richardson wants the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether Kitzhaber and Hayes conspired together to defraud the citizens of Oregon, according to the letter.
Richardson said he wants the feds to look into the case because the governor appoints all seven members of the state ethics commission.
“It strains reality to think that any complaint against the governor or his fiancee would receive impartial consideration,” he said in the letter.
In the letter, Richardson sites the Willamette Week article as evidence of Kitzhaber and Hayes’ wrongdoing. He also likens this case to that of Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen McDonnell who were convicted last month on corruption and obstruction of justice charges.
Bob McDonnell, a Republican, and his wife were convicted in September for using the clout of the governor’s office for personal gain by accepting gifts from Jonnie R. Williams Sr. and Star Scientific.
Richardson ends the letter by asking for a full investigation and prosecution if it is found that Kitzhaber and Hayes defrauded Oregonians.
"The people of Oregon deserve a thorough and impartial investigation that holds their elected and public officials accountable for their actions," Richardson said in the letter, which is also signed by Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters and Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson.
Related Slideshow: Timeline of Cylvia Hayes’ Life and Misdeeds
March 28, 1989
Hayes divorced Todd Hayes in the state of Washington
Dec. 17, 1996
Hayes divorced Doug McCarthy
July 19, 1997
King County, Washington marriage records revealed Hayes married an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant, Abraham B. Abraham. There was no record of the couple living together and four years and three months later they filed for divorce, which was finalized in 2002. Hayes admitted to being paid $5,000 for the marriage, which she said she used to pay for school expenses and did not report in her taxes.
Evergreen State College
Hayes transferred to Evergreen from Bellevue Community College to earn a bachelor's degree in environmental studies in 1994. There she played on the woman's soccer team and was awarded academic and athletic scholarships. She stayed on at Evergreen to earn a master's degree in Environmental Studies in 1997.
Alleged pot farm property
Hayes and her then boyfriend bought property in Okanogan, Washington near the Canadian border. Hayes admitted the property was intended for marijuana growth, although she said the operation “never materialized” and that she was never financially involved. However, the person who took over the property said that Hayes and her boyfriend stopped making payments and that there was evidence of marijuana being grown there. She gave up her interest in the property in April 1998.
Investigation by DOJ
Hayes was the center of a criminal investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice surrounding a consulting contract she received from the Oregon Department of Energy. Although her firm was ranked last, it was still granted work. Hayes was never accused of any wrongdoing, but the investigation showed state officials had guided a $60,000 contract to her firm.
3E Contracts with Demos
Hayes signed a $20,611 consulting contract with Resource Media, a firm that had contacted Kitzhaber’s office the year before to promote a Pacific Coast climate and energy initiative.
Hayes signed a $40,000 contract with the nonprofit Energy Foundation, who she had worked with as part of her duties as a Kitzhaber adviser. Hayes had spoken at an Energy Foundation event in 2012 and emailed them in the start of 2013, mentioning funding for the company.
Hayes signed a $25,000 contract with Demos. Hayes spoke and moderated a Demos panel, but was introduced as Oregon’s first lady, rather than a paid consultant.
Oct. 9, 2014
In a press conference, Hayes admitted to an illegal green card marriage in 1997. She said that she told Governor Kitzhaber about the illegal marriage only a day before the news went public.
Oct. 13, 2014
Hayes admitted to KOIN 6 NEWS that she had lived on a property in Okanogan, WA used for growing and selling marijuana.
The bank loan
Oct. 15, 2014
The Willamette Week wrote that the Governor’s office had helped extend a government loan for a former client of Hayes’ consulting business in Bend, Oregon. The owner of a golf course was given an extension on his loan from the Oregon Department of Energy after the Department was persuaded by Kitzhaber's staff. The owner wrote a thank-you note to Hayes, Kitzhaber’s chief of staff and his business advisor for their help with the situation.
Oct. 15, 2014
The GOP filed a complaint with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission against Kitzhaber, Hayes, and the governor's unpaid advisor Patricia McCaig. It claimed there was a “conflict of interest transactions, employment relationships, benefits from public contracts, usage of public buildings and staff for personal financial gain and business."
Former boyfriend speaks
Oct. 21, 2014
Karl Topinka, Hayes' former boyfriend she owned the pot farm in Washington with, told the Daily Mail that Hayes couldn't be trusted. He also said the pot farm was all her idea and she had done the planning. Topinka said Hayes failed to tell him of her illegal marriage that had taken place shortly before.
Oct. 25, 2014
Governor Kitzhaber did not list Hayes in an ethics document consisting of lobbyists he had a relationship with, GoLocalPDX reported. In a section where he was supposed to disclose “any compensated lobbyist who was associated with a business with which you or a member or your household was associated during 2013,” Kitzhaber wrote “N/A” or not applicable.
Open records complaint
Oct. 29, 2014
GoLocalPDX.com filed a complaint with the Attorney General of Oregon against the Governor’s office for failure to comply with the open records law. A request for information to determine if the Governor had received income from Hayes’ consulting contracts was ignored for over two weeks, prompting the official complaint.
Hayes Speaks Out
Nov. 6, 2014
Cylvia Hayes made her first public statement since her confession that she had been part of an illegal sham marriage. The statement which she made via her Facebook page reads:
"I just want to thank all of you who have sent such support and encouragement over these past very challenging weeks. In the midst of the storm the positive incoming from friends, family and colleagues has been enormously helpful. Thank you for taking time to reach out."
Cylvia Hayes could face federal fraud charges for her dual role as a private consultant and public official in the Governor’s office, a series of legal experts told GoLocalPDX.
The findings of an Oregon Ethics Commission investigation will determine whether Hayes violated state ethics laws when she accepted contracts for her private consulting firm while working in the governor’s office under the title of “Oregon’s First Lady.”
On Jan. 9, Willamette Week reported Hayes was under federal investigation, raising the specter of federal charges.
- Hayes Scandal Could Implode Kitzhaber’s Campaign
- How ‘First Lady’ Cylvia Hayes is Letting Feminists Down
- Ethics Investigation Could Cost Gov. and Hayes Tens of Thousands in Legal Fees
- Cylvia Hayes Confesses to ‘Illegal Marriage’
- Governor Kitzhaber Refuses to Answer About Personal Gain From Lobbying Fees