John Kitzhaber

Kitzhaber Expected to Resign Today

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) “is expected to resign Friday, perhaps in the early afternoon,” multiple sources told KOIN 6 News.

“The decision came after intense debate among the governor and those close to him. These sources say Kitzhaber has wanted to pursue that course since the weekend but had been dissuaded by his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, and his legal team.”

Update: The Oregonian reports Kitzhaber resigned effective next Wednesday, Feb. 18, in a letter submitted to Secretary of State Kate Brown.

Ground Crumbles Under Kitzhaber

“In one of the most surreal days in Oregon political history, the state’s top Democratic leaders called for Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) to resign, and the governor vanished from public view,” the Oregonian reports.

“With support of even allies evaporating, the ability of Kitzhaber to remain in office appeared less viable by the hour… By day’s end, Kitzhaber had suffered a legal blow, too, when Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declared that the emails of his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, are public records and must be released.”

Kitzhaber Tried to Destroy Emails

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s (D) “office last week requested state officials destroy thousands of records in the governor’s personal email accounts,” Willamette Week reports.

“The request came as investigations into allegations of influence-peddling involving Kitzhaber and first lady Cylvia Hayes were intensifying… Records show the request to destroy Kitzhaber’s emails came from Jan Murdock, Kitzhaber’s executive assistant. She wanted all emails from Kitzhaber’s personal email accounts removed from state servers.”

Democratic Leaders Call On Kitzhaber to Resign

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney (D) and House Majority Leader Tina Kotek (D) met with Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) on Thursday morning and told him it was time to resign, the Oregonian reports.

“The leaders met with their fellow lawmakers earlier Thursday to let them know about the meeting with the governor.”

The Oregonian has a roundup of the latest headlines as the pressure increases on the governor.

Kitzhaber Planned to Resign Then Changed His Mind

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) “decided to resign Tuesday but then changed his mind, insisting Wednesday afternoon that he’s staying,” the Oregonian reports.

“Events developed as the Democratic governor, now in a historic fourth term and fighting multiple investigations, faced eroding support from other elected officials and even his own advisers. 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.”

Speculation Grows That Kitzhaber Will Resign

Gov. John Kitzhaber’s private attorney, Jim McDermott, “sought to tamp down a flurry of speculation that the governor was planning to resign,” the Oregonian reports.

Said McDermott: “I have every reason to believe the governor will stay in office.”

“Sepculation about the governor’s future was fueled Wednesday morning after Secretary of State Kate Brown cut short a trip to Washington, D.C. to return to Oregon. The governor’s office has not responded to requests for comment about whether he was getting ready to leave office amid controversy over fiancee Cylvia Hayes’ consulting contracts and how he and his aides handled them.”

Kitzhaber Tried To Shut Down Corruption Inquiry

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) “declared at a press conference Jan. 30 that he and fiancée Cylvia Hayes would fully cooperate with a review of corruption allegations by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission,” the Oregonian reports.

“He didn’t mention that, behind the scenes, their attorneys had been fighting for weeks to spare Hayes from any ethics inquiry.”

Kitzhaber Calls for Investigation of First Lady’s Activities

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) has asked Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) to conduct a “full and factual review” of issues surrounding his office’s handling of First Lady Cylvia Hayes’ contracts, the Oregonian reports.

“The governor had refused calls over the past few months to initiate an outside review but changed course with this announcement Monday morning. An investigation of a sitting governor appears to be unprecedented in Oregon history.”

Willamette Week: “Kitzhaber’s letter to Rosenblum today will allow his office to further delay producing public records. That’s because exemptions in the public records law allow public bodies—such as the governor’s office—to withhold records that may be involved in litigation, a criminal investigation or a personnel investigation until those proceedings are finished. In other words, what may look like Kitzhaber seeking an investigation could in fact be his attempt to prevent the public from finding out what really happened in his office.”

Oregon First Lady Directed Policy She Was Paid to Promote

“A new batch of emails released Friday show Cylvia Hayes directed state employees how to implement a new policy while she was being paid $25,000 by an advocacy group to promote it,” the Oregonian reports.

“The emails appear to erase any doubt that, as first lady, Hayes was taking money in her private role and pushing the same policy in her public one. The governor’s office has conceded only that Hayes’ roles as first lady and policy adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber and as a private consultant put her in a gray area.”

Pressure on Kitzhaber Grows

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has labeled as “troubling” allegations against Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) and his fiancée linked to a potential conflict of interest over his future wife’s consulting work and her role as an unpaid adviser, Reuters reports.

Said Rosenblum: “Recent allegations relating to Governor Kitzhaber and Ms. Hayes are very serious – and troubling. My office is considering all of our legal options to ensure that we are best serving the state.”

Oregonian First Lady Used Staff for Personal Use

Emails show Oregonian First Lady Cylvia Hayes asked Gov. John Kitzhaber’s (D) staff to help with mundane tasks like sneaking cats into a hotel room and complaining to an airline, the Oregonian reports.

“The 500 pages of records capture communications between Hayes on her personal email accounts and a scheduler in Kitzhaber’s office. They were released as the governor’s office continues to whittle away at a months-long backlog of public records requests.”