- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The fiancee of former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber must release her emails for court review amid allegations she used their relationship to land contracts for her green-energy consulting business, a judge ordered Wednesday.

The ruling from Marion County Judge Tracy Prall comes after The Oregonian newspaper filed a public-records request seeking more than 100,000 of Cylvia Hayes’ emails. Hayes’ attorney, Whitney Boise, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The case began after state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum ordered Hayes to disclose emails from personal accounts that discuss public business.

Hayes sued to overturn the demand, saying she shouldn’t have to comply because she was not part of a state agency and because doing so might violate her right against self-incrimination.

On the first point, the judge said it “is not whether (Hayes) is a state agency, it is whether the record being sought is a public record of a state agency.”

Prall wrote that Hayes acted as an officer within the governor’s office, which is an agency.

Also, claiming potential self-incrimination relieves Hayes of “identifying which of the remaining emails are responsive to the public records request and which are not,” giving that task to the court, Prall said.

Hayes must deliver the emails to the court within the next two weeks. The judge will then review them in private and decide which messages deal with public business and must be disclosed.

“What Judge Prall did today was to essentially agree with the attorney general that, yes, when Cylvia Hayes was sending emails - issuing policy advice, calling meetings of state employees - she was really acting as a staff member of the governor’s office,” said Charles Hinkle, the attorney representing The Oregonian.


Follow Steven DuBois at twitter.com/pdxdub.

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