Timeline Of Ethics Issues Surrounding Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber

OREGON:  Just weeks after being sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced his resignation following allegations his fiancée used their relationship to win contracts for her consulting business and failed to report income on her taxes.

OCT. 8 – The Willamette Week newspaper reports that the governor’s fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, used taxpayer resources to aid her green-energy consulting business.

OCT. 9 – Hayes tearfully admits to a newspaper report that in 1997 she was paid $5,000 to marry an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant seeking to stay in the United States. Because the statute of limitations had passed, she is not prosecuted. When she told Kitzhaber about the marriage, “he was stunned and he was hurt,” Hayes says. “And I will be eternally grateful for the beautiful, loving way he has supported me in this.”

OCT. 13 – Hayes acknowledges that in the same year as the marriage, she purchased property in Washington state intended to be used for a marijuana-growing operation but denies participating financially, saying that the scheme “never materialized.” The man who sold the property says he found evidence that it did. Washington has since legalized medical and recreational marijuana, but the drug was illegal there in 1997.