94,000 Cylvia Hayes emails released by governor’s office

Emails provide a glimpse into the public life of the former first lady.

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Gov. Kate Brown released Friday about 94,000 emails from three personal accounts used by former first lady Cylvia Hayes to staffers in the governor office.

OregonLive.com wrote of the “key takeaways” so far:

  • More insight into what former Gov. John Kitzhaber knew — and when — about Hayes’ deep involvement within his administration and across state government since early in his third term.
  • Further examples of how Hayes directed state employees and to some extent, Kitzhaber’s policies, further contradicting her attorneys’ arguments that she was not a public official.
  • Hayes acknowledged her “confusing” dual roles in late 2012, months before she accepted three other paid consulting jobs.

The Oregonian has assigned 21 staff members to mine the emails for information about possible improprieties committed by Hayes and Kitzhaber.

One revelation has been that the former governor set the framework for the conflict of interest that cost him his job.

From OregonLive.com:

Just last year, Kitzhaber directed his staff to engage Hayes in the policy work of the office.

“It is important that the work Cylvia does on the Prosperity Initiative (and the remarkable following she has created) is coordinated and aligned with the overall administration,” Kitzhaber wrote last year as he mapped out plans for a fourth term. That is, she needs to be engaged in strategic planning and long-term scheduling; she needs communication support for her public appearances; and the groups she is convening, her efforts to secure grant funding, etc., need to be part of our overall strategic plan.”

Kitzhaber also promoted Hayes’ career as a paid consultant for green energy and other eco-friendly policies.

From another OregonLive.com report:

Hayes, while drawing on the resources, access and prestige afforded her by the governor’s office, worked to showcase herself and her company so she could promote causes that she believed in and could profit from, the records show. And the governor championed her cause, the records indicate. …

When backers of a proposed state-of-the-art Oregon Sustainability Center in downtown Portland asked to brief Kitzhaber in March 2011 about what they said was large and growing corporate support for the expensive project, Kitzhaber assistant Jan Murdock and Kitzhaber himself made sure that Hayes got to hear the insider account of corporate support.

Other revelations from the emails so far include Hayes contacting state police for help accessing a nephew’s records, referring to herself as FLO (first lady of Oregon) and using state-paid staff to complete household duties.

The Statesman Journal on the latter charge:

Former Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes used her taxpayer-funded staff to schedule meetings, book flights and arrange talking points related to her official duties.

Previously released documents show she also used state-paid staff to book travel and schedule meetings related to her private consulting business — prohibited under Oregon ethics rules.



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