Oregon's first lady Cylvia Hayes hit with ethics complaint

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's fiancee Cylvia Hayes was dealt another blow this week with a pair of ethics complaints over her private consulting work.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  Oct. 16, 2014 at 3:24 PM
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SALEM, Ore., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The Oregon Republican Party and a state representative filed separate ethics complaints against Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes.

Rep. Vickie Berger, R-Salem announced on Thursday that she had filed an ethics complaint questioning whether Hayes' dual roles as de-facto first lady and paid consultant were in a misuse of state resources.

"Oregonians deserve transparency in all government activities," she wrote. "Special deals are prohibited by our ethics statutes. This standard applies at all levels, from the highest elected officials to the thousands of volunteers who serve on state and local public boards and commissions."

On Monday, Kitzhaber filed with the ethics commission seeking advice on whether the first lady is considered a public official, and therefore subject to state ethics laws, as well as whether her private work was in conflict with her official role as first lady.

In her complaint, she alleges "possible misuse" of resources as Hayes has served as a policy advisor on energy and economic development to the governor, as well as attained consulting contracts from groups seeking policy influence in the same areas.

The state GOP's complaint also names Kitzhaber's political consultant Patricia McCaig.

Hayes has been the subject of several eye-opening revelations in the past week. Last Thursday, Hayes admitted to making a "serious mistake" in marrying an immigrant in 1997 in order for him to obtain a green card.

"It was wrong then and it is wrong now and I am here today to accept the consequences, some of which will be life changing," she said. "And I cannot predict what direction this will go."

And Monday, a real estate broker accused her of owning a marijuana operation in Washington state.

Hayes denied having financial involvement in the marijuana grow, saying she had been in an "abusive relationship" with a "dangerous man" and they lived on the property for several months.

Kitzhaber has consistently lead in polls over his Republican challenger, Dennis Richardson, holding margins of 7 to 13 points.

Complaint Form submitted to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission

October 15, 2014

Vicki Berger

1. Did Cylvia Hayes, individually or through her consulting business, 3E Strategies (or 3E Strategies, LLC), or any other business or non-profit entity owned or controlled by her, engage in any consulting activities for the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource Media using State of Oregon supplies, facilities, equipment, employees, records or other public resources, including government buildings such as offices, conference rooms and/or Mahonia Hall?

2. Did Cylvia Hayes, individually or through her consulting business, use Governor's Office staff to schedule meeting or activities to further her work for the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource Media?

3. Did Cylvia Hayes use confidential information gained as a public official to benefit her work for the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource Media?

4. Did Cylvia Hayes use the title "First Lady" of Oregon in work that she did, individually or through her consulting business, in private consulting work that she or her firm did for the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource Media?

5. Did Cylvia Hayes, individually or through her consulting business, directly or indirectly, use her activities or position as "First Lady" and policy advisor to the Governor in order to obtain consulting contracts with the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource Media?

6. Did Cylvia Hayes fail to disclose her economic ties to the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource Media when speaking at events sponsored by them and using the title of "First Lady?"

7. Did Cylvia Hayes accept an in-kind donation of the salary of a press spokesperson from the Oregon Business Council, an organization which has economic and/or administrative interest in state policy.

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