INVESTIGATION: State of Oregon’s Lobbying Firm is the Firm Hired By Kitzhaber and Hayes
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Specifically, Kitzhaber and Hayes have tapped two of the most powerful and politically influential lawyers in Oregon to represent them before the Oregon Ethics Commission. Neither is a criminal attorney.
The two attorneys named to represent Kitzhaber and Hayes as private citizens (not in the governor’s official capacity) are Steve Janik and Jim McDermott of Ball Janik Law Firm. The firm Ball Janik has a long political reach to Washington DC and markets itself as being influential in government relations in Portland, Salem, and DC.
The Ball Janik firm is tied to hundreds of thousands of dollars of state contracts that were awarded to the firm during the Kitzhaber Administration. According to a GoLocalPDX review of state documents, the law firm that now represents Kitzhaber and Hayes has been awarded contracts or is presently under contract to the state of Oregon for legal and lobbying work including federal lobbying for the State of Oregon in Washington, DC.
OpenSecrets.org reports that Ball Janik received more than $1.8 million in lobbying fees from a range of clients in 2014 including the Oregon Iron Works, Ship Builders Council of America, and the Office of the Governor/State of Oregon.
Politico reported on Tuesday of this week that four Ball Janik DC-based lobbyists have fled the firm.
“Adams and Reese have hired Matt Paxton as partner and governmental affairs advisers Joe Carnevale, Ian Bennitt, and Ashley Godwin from the law firm of Ball Janik LLP. “We are very excited about adding Matt, Joe, Ian and Ashley, to our firm and our Federal Governmental Relations practice,” said B. Jeffrey Brooks, Adams and Reese Executive Committee Chairman and D.C. Office Partner in Charge in a statement.
Janik is the former chairman of the firm, but he stepped down as the managing partner this summer after a ten-year term. McDermott was elected to succeed Janik for the firm that holds offices in Portland, Seattle, Bend, and Washington, DC.
A number of messages were left for Janik, but calls were not returned.
When the Governor’s office was asked about the potential of a conflict or creating the perception of a conflict, the Governor’s staffer Melissa Navas said, "You would have to ask the ethics commission about it."
Ball Janik’s Washington DC office is a block from the U.S. Treasury and two block from the White House.
“We have helped clients secure significant contracts and federal funding for their projects and have helped shaped favorable federal policies that advance their objectives,” claims the firm in their marketing material.
“Ball Janik LLP offers government contractors a unique and powerful blend of experience in strategic marketing, procurement, contract administration, counseling and litigation,” says the Ball Janik law firm in their marketing materials.
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.
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