SALEM, Ore., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday amid allegations he and his fiancée used his position to get her private consulting work and a role as an unpaid adviser.
The Democrat governor broke the news to his staff Friday just weeks after he was sworn in as the state's first four-term governor. Kitzhaber was expected to make a formal, public announcement later in the day.
The effective date the 67-year-old's resignation was unclear.
Kitzhaber has come under fire after media reports that his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, received $118,000 in consulting fees in 2011 and 2012 from the Washington, D.C.-based Clean Economy Development Center while advising the governor about tax issues. Kitzhaber did not disclose her income from the group on his annual economic interest statements.
The Oregonian, the largest newspaper in the state, called for Kitzhaber to resign. The newspaper's editorial board has supported Kitzhaber in his four gubernatorial elections
"Whether through gross inattention or complicity, Kitzhaber has broken faith with Oregonians. His career in Oregon politics is one of great accomplishment, but his past success does not excuse the mess he has made of the office with which Oregonians entrusted him. He is now less a governor than a source of unending distraction. He can no longer lead Oregon effectively and should resign. His constituents deserve better," the editorial board said.
Under Oregon law, Secretary of State Kate Brown would replace Kitzhaber upon his resignation. He abruptly summoned her back from a conference she was attending in Washington, D.C., earlier this week.
Amy R. Connolly contributed to this report.