NEW: Kitzhaber Calls on Oregon Attorney General for Independent Investigation
Monday, February 09, 2015
Kitzhaber asked Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum for an investigation on the grounds that the unfolding situation with Hayes has become a distraction to his work in the legislature.
"I deeply regret that this situation has become a distraction from the important work of our state and look forward to your review and its conclusions," Kitzhaber wrote.
The Governor's request for a "full and independent factual review of any and all questions or allegations" came after Rosenblum said Friday the allegations against the Governor were very serious, and troubling, and that the Attorney General's office was considering all legal options. The statement from Rosenblum's office was a reversal of her previous stance on the issue.
Until now, Kitzhaber has pointed to the Oregon Ethics Commission to decide whether he violated state ethics laws. But Monday, he wrote the review, currently underway, was not stemming "the rush to judgement currently underway in the Oregon media."
Read the full statement below.
Dear Attorney General Rosenblum:
As you know, I believe our office acted appropriately when we intentionally sought to ensure a clear separation between Cylvia Hayes' volunteer work as First Lady and her own paid professional work. We recognized the unique challenge involved with an independent professional woman assuming the largely undefined role of First Lady. However, the media's focus on questions and allegations concerning the work done by her and the contracts she obtained during my last term has progressively intensified.
No one wants these questions answered more than we do and we are both fully cooperating with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. Nonetheless , it is increasingly clear that the statutory process established to review questions of this nature, to determine the facts and to arrive at conclusions concerning whether laws have been violated has in no way stemmed the rush to judgment currently underway in the Oregon media.
Therefore, I am requesting that your office use its authority to undertake a full and independent factual review of any and all questions or allegations as you see fit. You will have my full cooperation. The First Lady and I will make available to you any materials you deem necessary to complete your work, as will my office.
I deeply regret that this situation has become a distraction from the important work of our state and look forward to your review and its conclusions.
John A. Kitzhaber, MD