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Oregon Governor Hires Law Firm to Answer Corruption Inquiry
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Oregon Governor hires lawyers

Summary: Oregon governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancée have hired two attorneys, possibly to respond to accusations of corruption.

Not much is clear regarding the legal furor surrounding Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancée First Lady Cylvia Hayes. It has been reported by Willamette Week last Friday that an FBI investigation has been opened on them, but the FBI per their policy won’t talk, and the couple’s press secretary, Chris Pair, meanwhile, claims he and the couple are ignorant of any FBI inquiry. Nevertheless, the pair has hired lawyers Steve Janik and Jim McDermott, as of “early November,” as Pair explained in an email, and this, again for undisclosed reasons.


Janik and McDermott are not criminal lawyers. They specialize in real estate and work with civil law. That the couple hired them in November, around the time of the governor’s reelection for a fourth term, at this point isn’t quite telling, but we do know some of the problems they’ve been facing.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson sent his lawyers to U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall to investigation whether the couple used their public positions for private gain, which is illegal under state ethics laws. That such a legal apparatus plays a prominent role in elections bespeaks, perhaps, our times, and the nature of the democratic process, if not the political process in general, these days. So it makes sense that Kitzhaber and Hayes would respond with some sort of defense.

Nevertheless, the Oregon Government Ethics Commission is also conducting a preliminary review into the same matter before they commit to a full inquiry. In this regard, they’ve expanded their decision deadline from the end of February back to March 13.

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At this point the situation is unclear, but that there is a situation is evident enough. Willamette also reported that Hayes signed three private consulting contracts in 2013 to handle issues regarding her work with Kitzhaber.

Is Gov. Kitzhaber's decision to hire lawyers just a precautionary measure?

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News Source: Portland Tribune


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