Oregon governor resigns under fire

Oregon’s Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, bowing to pressure from legislative leaders including those of his own party, resigned today over influence-peddling allegations against his fiancee. He will be succeeded by Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, also a Democrat. (Oregon doesn’t have a Lieutenant Governor.) CNBC summarized the scandal as follows:

“A series of newspaper reports since October have chronicled [Cylvia] Hayes’ work for organizations with an interest in Oregon public policy. At the same time she was paid by advocacy groups, she played an active role in Kitzhaber’s administration, a potential conflict of interest. The spotlight on Hayes led to her revealing that she accepted about $5,000 to illegally marry a man seeking immigration benefits in the 1990s. Later, she admitted she bought a remote property with the intent to grow marijuana. Though questions about Hayes have swirled for months, the pressure on Kitzhaber intensified in recent weeks after newspapers raised questions about whether Hayes reported all her income on her tax returns. She has not publicly addressed the allegation and Kitzhaber has declined to. Earlier this week, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she was launching a criminal investigation.”

Photos: Private citizens John Kitzhaber and Cylvia Hayes; Oregon governor Kate Brown.102425549-kitzhaber-hayes.530x298kate-brown-ledge-304xx509-764-31-0

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