Evidence suggesting improprieties by Kitzhaber, Hayes continues to mount

Emails released before the weekend indicate first lady directed state employees on issues related to her private consulting work.

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Emails released before the weekend indicate first lady Cylvia Hayes directed state employees on policy-matter she was privately consulting.

OregonLive.com was first to report on the growing amount of evidence against Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee:

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.

The emails, released by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, also show a deeper involvement by Kitzhaber than state officials had previously described. In one, the governor told a state agency director “we need to find a way” to hire a man named Sean McGuire — a key expert on Hayes’ policy who knew the first lady and who also had worked with the advocacy group paying her.

Willamette Week has been covering this issue extensively. WW reporter Nigel Jaquiss expands on the allegedly incriminating emails:

The new documents focus on Hayes’ work on the genuine progress indicator, an alternative measure of economic output promoted by her client, Demos. Demos’ position is that traditional measures such as gross domestic product encourage inefficient and sometimes harmful choices, such as the exploitation of fossil fuels. Using different measurements, Demos says, would yield different policy choices, such as greater spending on public infrastructure.

Kitzhaber personally played a role in helping Hayes land the Demos contract. 

As concern spreads about the relationship between Demos and Hayes, the New York-based advocacy group has distanced itself from the first lady, reports OregonLive.com:

Demos’ Communications Director Elektra Gray said on Friday night that Hayes had discussed a potential contract with Hayes for many months before she signed one  on May 10, 2013. That contract, worth $25,000, called for Hayes to represent Demos in Oregon through lobbying various groups and fundraising.

However, after noting the in-state work could present a conflict, Hayes and Demos changed the scope to nationwide. Still, “Oregon” was not specifically excluded.

The editorial staff of the Yamhill Valley News-Register, of McMinnville, joined the Oregonian Friday in calling for Kitzhaber’s resignation:

You have ardently resisted coming straight and, frankly, that no longer surprises us. While you have enjoyed many successes, your once-admirable legacy has become soiled by your refusal to recognize and rectify wrong turns.

Now, you are entangled in a web of ethics violations that could easily turn criminal. You have abetted Hayes in reckless misuse of favor and influence, and quite possibly income tax evasion — a crime that has brought down many of the mighty. That constitutes willful ignorance at best and outright collusion at worst.

Read the editorial in full at the News-Register.

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