17 state workers apply for legal fees in Kitzhaber case


Members of former governor’s staff seek assistance from state program that allows coverage of legal costs that arise from performing duties on the job.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Seventeen members of former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s staff are seeking assistance from a state program that allows coverage of legal costs that arise from performing duties on the job, an investigation by the Oregonian finds.

The state has approved 13 employees for coverage so far, and five have submitted legal bills. The biggest bill to date is for Kitzhaber’s energy adviser, Margaret Hoffman. She requested $12,915 to pay her lawyer.

(SOURCE: Associated Press)

The records obtained by the newspaper reveal that at least five former staffers have been served federal subpoenas to testify.

Federal prosecutors early on told Curtis Robinhold, Kitzhaber’s chief of staff until last year, that he could expect a personal subpoena for documents and for “multiple appearances” before the grand jury examining the case, according to an April 20 letter recommending him for legal coverage written by Gov. Kate Brown’s lawyer, Benjamin Souede.

Souede wrote a similar letter for Nkenge Harmon Johnson, the spokeswoman who was fired after making a remark that Hayes found condescending. “Agents have requested her cooperation, particularly by sitting for one or more interviews,” he wrote. David Allaway, a Department of Environmental Quality staffer who in a 2013 email documented Hayes mixing her state and private roles, was approached by federal agents on March 3 and alerted that he would be subpoenaed for a grand jury.

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

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