Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday amid a conflict-of-interest scandal involving his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.
Top state officials and area newspapers have called for Kitzhaber to step down after revelations that Hayes got highly desirable jobs with groups that do business with the state while she also worked as an unpaid adviser to the governor on energy and economic policies, ABC News reported.
Kitzhaber has resisted the pressure to resign for weeks. Until now.
“I am announcing today that I will resign as governor of the state of Oregon,” the Democratic governor said in a statement Friday. “I understand that I have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which I have dedicated my career and, indeed, my entire adult life. As a former presiding officer, I fully understand the reasons for which I have been asked to resign.”
Kitzhaber called Hayes the “first lady,” even though the two aren’t married and that is not an official state title.
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Hayes sought compensation for travel and food expenses while conducting “first lady” business, The Oregonian reported. She also filled in for the governor at public events and orchestrated meetings with state officials.
Records show Hayes received over $200,000 in contract fees, The Oregonian reported.
The governor’s resignation will not put an end to ongoing criminal and ethics investigations, officials have said.
Secretary of State Kate Brown, also a Democrat, will succeed Kitzhaber as governor, but details of her swearing-in ceremony have not been released.
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