February 12, 2015

In A First, OR Dem Gov Flip-Flops On Resigning From Office

ORGov

Have you heard the one about the Oregon governor, facing corruption charges, deciding to resign and then changing his mind?

Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancée Cylvia Hayes have been at the center of controversy since last October, when reports alleged Kitzhaber “used his office to land contracts for [Hayes’] consulting business. She’s accused of advocating policies that she was paid to promote.”

The AP report continues:

Hayes has been under increasing scrutiny since October, when a series of reports chronicled her work for organizations with an interest in Oregon public policy, which came as she served as an unpaid adviser in the governor’s office.

The focus led Hayes to reveal that she accepted about $5,000 to illegally marry an immigrant seeking immigration benefits in the 1990s. Later, she acknowledged purchasing a remote property with the intent to illegally grow marijuana.

Kitzhaber, meanwhile, has denied wrongdoing, saying he and Hayes took steps to avoid conflicts of interest. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has launched a criminal investigation.

Ironically, Kitzhaber’s decision to not resign came after discussing the matter with, of all people, Hayes:

The governor decided to pull back from resigning – set for Thursday or Friday — after meeting with his attorney, Portland lawyer Jim McDermott, and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.

Regardless of how Kitzhaber gets removed from office, it’s clear he has maybe some of the worst judgment among elected officials we’ve seen in recent years.