- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, have hired lawyers as they face scrutiny over Hayes’ consulting work.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the governor’s office said the couple hired Steve Janik and Jim McDermott of the Portland law firm Ball Janik in November. The lawyers are representing Kitzhaber and Hayes in an investigation by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

The attorneys will be paid by Kitzhaber and Hayes, said Chris Pair, a spokesman for the governor’s office.

The statement also says Kitzhaber, Hayes and the governor’s office have not been contacted by law enforcement agencies, and they “are unaware of any investigation.” Willamette Week reported last week that the FBI is investigating Hayes, citing unidentified sources.

“Clearly, if contacted they will fully cooperate,” the statement said.

Hayes did paid consulting work for clients seeking to influence state government. She also acknowledged that she accepted cash to illegally marry an immigrant seeking a Green Card in 1997.

The FBI generally does not confirm or deny it is investigating specific individuals. A spokeswoman for the bureau’s Portland office, Beth Anne Steele, declined to comment Tuesday.

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission enforces conflict-of-interest laws for public officials. The commission received at least three complaints about Hayes’ consulting work, which became a central issue in Kitzhaber’s re-election campaign last year.

Kitzhaber has maintained that Hayes did nothing wrong and said she was being targeted because she’s a woman.

The governor’s office statement says the commission is scheduled to issue a preliminary report for its March 13 meeting.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide