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Ethics commission denies Kitzhaber request on Hayes’ status

Oregon State Ethics Commission has denied Gov. John Kitzhaber's request for an advisory opinion on whether or not first lady Cylvia Hayes is a public official.

By Hillary Borrud

Capital Bureau

Published on November 7, 2014 11:23AM


The Oregon State Ethics Commission this morning denied a request by Gov. John Kitzhaber for an advisory opinion on whether or not first lady Cylvia Hayes is a public official.

Last month, Kitzhaber asked the Oregon Government Ethics Comission to determine whether Hayes met the state legal definition of a public official, after questions arose regarding Hayes’ paid consulting work. Staff in the governor’s office have acknowledged they already treated Hayes as a public official, although the position of first lady is unpaid.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Ron Bersin said the commission should instead answer Kitzhaber’s questions through a separate inquiry that it opened in response to an ethics complaint regarding Hayes and Kitzhaber. The commission voted unanimously to follow Bersin’s recommendation and deny the governor’s request.



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