Oregon Ethics Commission Says Hayes Violated Ethics Laws

In a meeting Friday morning the Oregon Government Ethics Commission voted 7-0-1 to accept 22 preliminary findings that Cylvia Hayes violated state ethics laws. One commissioner abstained from a potential conflict of interest for having worked for the state.eals

The commission found that Hayes, fiancee of former Governor John Kitzhaber, used her position as first lady to obtain jobs as a consultant, accept gifts worth more than the limit for a public official and did not handle potential and actual conflicts of interest.

The commission can’t fine Hayes yet. That decision will be held for a later meeting, however each violation comes with up to $5,000 in penalties and commissioners indicated they favor high fines against Hayes as this goes forward.

The Kitzhaber ethics case returns to the commission next week, and the commissioners indicated that both cases deserved significant fines instead of a slap on the wrist.  Both Hayes and Kitzhaber can ask for a hearing before the commission, appeal to administrative judges in state government and then appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals if they disagree with the eventual outcome.

Neither Hayes nor any representative/lawyer on her behalf attended the meeting. Their absence bothered commissioners who had hoped to question Hayes.

Hayes is expected to issue a statement later today and this post will be updated as more information is released. This story will also be covered today on Central Oregon Daily at 3 p.m. and updated again 6 p.m.

*This story was updated at 4:02 p.m. to express the 7-0-1 vote of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. The original post wrongly stated that there were 8 votes for the preliminary findings. 

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