State COO unexpectedly steps down

Michael Jordan, head of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, will relinquish his post April 1.

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Michael Jordan, the head of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, unexpectedly submitted a letter of resignation Thursday.

Gov. Kate Brown announced Jordan’s decision in a news release Thursday morning.

“We are committed to continuing with the Enterprise Leadership Team and related collaborative initiatives begun under Mr. Jordan’s leadership,” Brown said in the release. “We are grateful for his years of service to the people of Oregon and the community of state government.”

State Chief Financial Officer George Naughton will take over for Jordan as the acting head of DAS on April 1.

The Statesman Journal reports on the circumstances that led to Jordan’s decision:

Jordan, the state’s chief operating officer, made headlines in the wake of Gov. John Kitzhaber’s resignation as he asked Oregon State Police to investigate emails leaked from the DAS server regarding Kitzhaber’s behavior while in office. He also launched his own internal human resources review of two high-level managers inside DAS, both of whom have been placed on paid administrative leave. The two reviews are not necessarily linked, spokesman Matt Shelby said, and no one has been placed on leave related to the criminal investigation.

Jordan said he was questioned early in February by agents from the FBI and IRS as part of a federal investigation of Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes. He told The Oregonian that state technicians went through the offices of the governor after Brown took office to gather computers and other electronics used by Kitzhaber staffers. Jordan said they told him they did so after discussions with the office of U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.

The Portland Tribune expands on what his resignation could mean for Brown:

Jordan reportedly initiated the investigation on his own authority the morning Kitzhaber resigned, but before Brown assumed office. She was not consulted.

In light of Brown’s promise in her inaugural address to make government more transparent, critics questioned whether the administration was punishing whistleblowers.



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