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Democrat Joins with Richardson, Demands Kitzhaber Release Records

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Shelby Sebens, GoLocalPDX Reporter

Gov. John Kitzhaber's primary opponent, a Democrat, joined Republican Dennis Richardson on Friday, demanding the govenor release records related to a scandal surrounding the govenor's office. 

During a press conference with Richardson on Thursday, Kitzhaber’s primary opponent Ifeanyichukwu Diru, a Democrat who ran and lost in the May Primary, said he voted for Richardson and called on other Democrats to vote for the Republican in the Nov. 4 election.

“We’re here to tell the Governor his time has come,” said Diru, who owns Diru Trading Company. 

Richardson called on the governor’s office to release records and information pertaining to his fiancee Cylvia Hayes and the allegation that she has used his office for personal gain. Several media outlets, including GoLocalPDX, have not received responses to questions and requests for information. 

“I’m calling on Governor Kitzhaber to order his departments to immediately make available the public records which his staff are withholding, and to make himself available to questioning from the news media to determine the extent of his, and his staff’s involvement in this cover up,” Richardson said. “It’s simply shocking that a sitting governor two weeks before an election is refusing to answer questions and is withholding public records from the media.”

GoLocalPDX.com filed a formal complaint Wednesday with the office of the Attorney General of Oregon against the Governors’ office for failing to comply with open records laws.

Media reports and partisan critics have railed against Hayes in recent weeks asserting that she is a lobbyist living off taxpayer funds and enjoying an unethical advantage in her role as a public official as Oregon’s “First Lady.”

Richardson also unveiled plans for "restoring trust in state government" that include creating a Class A Misdemeanor of Betrayal of Public Trust, punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum $6,250 fine.

  • Marriages

    March 28, 1989

    Hayes divorced Todd Hayes in the state of Washington 

    Dec. 17, 1996

    Hayes divorced Doug McCarthy

    July 19, 1997

    King County, Washington marriage records revealed Hayes married an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant, Abraham B. Abraham. There was no record of the couple living together and four years and three months later they filed for divorce, which was finalized in 2002. Hayes admitted to being paid $5,000 for the marriage, which she said she used to pay for school expenses and did not report in her taxes.

  • Evergreen State College


    Hayes transferred to Evergreen from Bellevue Community College to earn a bachelor's degree in environmental studies in 1994. There she played on the woman's soccer team and was awarded academic and athletic scholarships.  She stayed on at Evergreen to earn a master's degree in Environmental Studies in 1997. 

  • Alleged pot farm property


    Hayes and her then boyfriend bought property in Okanogan, Washington near the Canadian border. Hayes admitted the property was intended for marijuana growth, although she said the operation “never materialized” and that she was never financially involved. However, the person who took over the property said that Hayes and her boyfriend stopped making payments and that there was evidence of marijuana being grown there. She gave up her interest in the property in April 1998. 

  • Bend


    Hayes moved from Washington to Bend, Oregon. Hayes has said she lived in a tent on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land over the summer while she got established in the area and finished her thesis. 

  • 3EStrategies


    Hayes founded 3EStraegies in Bend, a clean economy consulting firm. The business was built from Earth Connections, a nonprofit organization Hayes created two years earlier. In 2009 she converted 3EStraegies into a for-profit company. 

  • Run for office


    Hayes ran for the Oregon State Legislature as the House Democratic nominee. She lost to Rep. Ben Westlund from Bend. 

  • Kitzhaber Divorce


    Governor John Kitzhaber divorced his second wife of eight years, Sharon Kitzhaber, after he left the governor’s office in 2003. The two had become engaged during Kitzhaber’s first governor campaign.

  • Kitzhaber and Hayes


    The first media report that Kitzhaber had a new relationship with Hayes appeared in the Bend Bulletin.

  • Kitzhaber Reelection


    Kitzhaber won a third non-consecutive term and took office as governor. He had held the title previously for two terms from 1995 to 2003. He told the press that Hayes would take on the responsibilities and roles of a first lady.

  • Investigation by DOJ

    August 2010

    Hayes was the center of a criminal investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice surrounding a consulting contract she received from the Oregon Department of Energy. Although her firm was ranked last, it was still granted work. Hayes was never accused of any wrongdoing, but the investigation showed state officials had guided a $60,000 contract to her firm.

  • Move into Mahonia Hall

    December 2010

    After Kitzhaber was reelected in 2010, he announced that while he'd be spending most of his time in his Portland home, when in Salem his girlfriend Cylvia Hayes would stay with him in the Governor's mansion, Mahonia Hall. 

  • Work for the Governor


    Hayes was placed on a seven-member team by Kitzhaber to write a 10-year energy plan. Hayes also gave speeches as the first lady and policy adviser in the area of energy issues.

  • 3E Contracts with Demos

    March 2013

    Hayes signed a $20,611 consulting contract with Resource Media, a firm that had contacted Kitzhaber’s office the year before to promote a Pacific Coast climate and energy initiative. 

    May 2013

    Hayes signed a $40,000 contract with the nonprofit Energy Foundation, who she had worked with as part of her duties as a Kitzhaber adviser. Hayes had spoken at an Energy Foundation event in 2012 and emailed them in the start of 2013, mentioning funding for the company. 

    June 2013

    Hayes signed a $25,000 contract with Demos. Hayes spoke and moderated a Demos panel, but was introduced as Oregon’s first lady, rather than a paid consultant.

  • Engagement

    Aug 2014

    Kitzhaber and Hayes announced their engagement. However, no wedding date was announced.

  • Expose on Hayes

    Oct. 8 2014

    The Willamette Week published an expose on Hayes alleging that her role as a private consultant and her position as Oregon's "first lady" presented a conflict of interest and an ethics violation. 

  • Confession

    Oct. 9, 2014

    In a press conference, Hayes admitted to an illegal green card marriage in 1997. She said that she told Governor Kitzhaber about the illegal marriage only a day before the news went public. 

    Oct. 13, 2014

    Hayes admitted to KOIN 6 NEWS that she had lived on a property in Okanogan, WA used for growing and selling marijuana.

  • Investigation called for

    Oct. 14, 2014

    The Oregon GOP called for an investigation into both Cylvia Hayes and the governor over allegations of self-dealing outlined in the Willamette Week.

  • The bank loan

    Oct. 15, 2014

    The Willamette Week wrote that the Governor’s office had helped extend a government loan for a former client of Hayes’ consulting business in Bend, Oregon. The owner of a golf course was given an extension on his loan from the Oregon Department of Energy after the Department was persuaded by Kitzhaber's staff. The owner wrote a thank-you note to Hayes, Kitzhaber’s chief of staff and his business advisor for their help with the situation. 

  • Ethics Commission

    Oct. 15, 2014

    The GOP filed a complaint with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission against Kitzhaber, Hayes, and the governor's unpaid advisor Patricia McCaig. It claimed there was a “conflict of interest transactions, employment relationships, benefits from public contracts, usage of public buildings and staff for personal financial gain and business."

  • Rep. Berger complaint

    Oct. 16, 2014
    State Representative Vicki Berger (R-Salem) filed a complaint against Hayes with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. Berger said in her statement, “I am asking for a full investigation of the possible misuse of state resources by Ms. Hayes.” 

  • Former boyfriend speaks

    Oct. 21, 2014

    Karl Topinka, Hayes' former boyfriend she owned the pot farm in Washington with, told the Daily Mail that Hayes couldn't be trusted. He also said the pot farm was all her idea and she had done the planning. Topinka said Hayes failed to tell him of her illegal marriage that had taken place shortly before. 

  • Ethics document

    Oct. 25, 2014

    Governor Kitzhaber did not list Hayes in an ethics document consisting of lobbyists he had a relationship with, GoLocalPDX reported. In a section where he was supposed to disclose “any compensated lobbyist who was associated with a business with which you or a member or your household was associated during 2013,” Kitzhaber wrote “N/A” or not applicable.

  • Open records complaint

    Oct. 29, 2014

    GoLocalPDX.com filed a complaint with the Attorney General of Oregon against the Governor’s office for failure to comply with the open records law. A request for information to determine if the Governor had received income from Hayes’ consulting contracts was ignored for over two weeks, prompting the official complaint. 

  • Opponents demand records

    Oct. 30, 2014

    Republican governor candidate Dennis Richardson was joined by Democrat Ifeanyichukwu Diru, Kitzhaber’s primary opponent, in a press conference demanding the Governor release records relating to the scandal. 

  • Kitzhaber leads polls

    Oct. 31, 2014

    Governor Kitzhaber led by 10 points over opponent Richardson in a recent poll released by KATU a few days before the 2014 election.

  • Hayes Speaks Out

    Nov. 6, 2014

    Cylvia Hayes made her first public statement since her confession that she had been part of an illegal sham marriage. The statement which she made via her Facebook page reads: 

    "I just want to thank all of you who have sent such support and encouragement over these past very challenging weeks. In the midst of the storm the positive incoming from friends, family and colleagues has been enormously helpful. Thank you for taking time to reach out."

  • Federal Investigation

    Cylvia Hayes could face federal fraud charges for her dual role as a private consultant and public official in the Governor’s office, a series of legal experts told GoLocalPDX. 

    The findings of an Oregon Ethics Commission investigation will determine whether Hayes violated state ethics laws when she accepted contracts for her private consulting firm while working in the governor’s office under the title of “Oregon’s First Lady.”

    On Jan. 9, Willamette Week reported Hayes was under federal investigation, raising the specter of federal charges. 

  • Press Conference

    Jan. 30, 2014

    Governor John Kitzhaber held a press conference and responded to questions surrounding investigations, ethics violations and Cylvia Hayes. When asked if he would resign, he said “I was elected by the people of this state to do a job, and I intend to do it.”



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