Days after Oregon voters returned him to office in 2011, an email reveals disgraced former Governor John Kitzhaber’s top priority was to secure money for fiancé Cylvia Hayes. Kitzhaber wrote to Hayes informing her he “would do what he could to arrange funding for her work, including writing letters to foundations on her behalf” a mere month into his third term. The Seattle Times,
“In the 2011 email, Kitzhaber urged Hayes to focus on long-term funding for ‘clean-economy’ projects. Hayes had worked for nearly 15 years on environmental issues and was operating her own consulting firm in Bend, Ore., but when Kitzhaber became governor she announced she would no longer contract with private companies.”
That transition didn’t seem to sit will with Hayes. The email shows Kitzhaber attempting to consul her, promising he would “continue to do everything I can to make sure that the bridge funding comes through and will use my own resources if necessary.” The “bridge” reference is unclear and lawyers for the couple did not address written questions about it.
Kitzhaber’s email to Hayes urges her to “lean into the WORK over this next month and concentrate on the foundation front” for “longer term funding.” He promises to help her do that by sending support letters to foundations.
But, that’s not all. The Seattle Times,
The email showed Kitzhaber’s intent to merge Hayes’ outside environmental work with his agenda as governor. He sent her a plan for unifying state efforts behind early childhood development as a “good template” that “can offer a road map for the work (our work) we can pick up once I get the budget balanced,” he wrote.
The new evidence of liberal corruption sheds new light on Kitzhaber’s involvement in intermingling Hayes’ outside consulting work with her service as unpaid first lady.
The FBI, IRS, and federal prosecutors are investigating whether the couple conspired to sell their influence to extreme “green” groups. Additionally, investigations are ongoing as to why Kitzhaber failed to report that Hayes’ received $88,000 from a fellowship on his annual ethics statement. Investigations into Hayes’ failure to properly file all her income for tax purposes are also ongoing.
Kitzhaber and Hayes fought to the last minute to prevent the public release of the latest batch of emails. A judge ordered them to be handed over to The Oregonian.