5,000 of Former Oregon Governor’s Emails Released

     SALEM, Ore. (CN) – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown released 5,000 emails from a private email account held by former Gov. John Kitzhaber before he stepped down amid a scandal.
     Kitzhaber resigned on Feb. 15 during his fourth term as Oregon’s governor. The FBI and the IRS are investigating claims that he and fiancée Cylvia Hayes advocated agendas set by Hayes’ clients at her private consulting firm, 3E Strategies.
     Kitzhaber used the private email account governor.kitzhaber@gmail.com beginning in January 2011, at the beginning of his third term.
     The Oregon Department of Administrative Services began storing those emails on state servers seven months later. Before that, it stored only emails from the account that included an employee from the governor’s office.
     Brown is still reviewing another 12,000 of Kitzhaber’s emails for possible release.
     The emails between Hayes and Kitzhaber have a cozy, informal feel.
     In February 2011, an organizer for the Northwest Green Building Industry Summit, emailed Hayes at her consulting firm asking her whether the governor would be willing to give the keynote speech. Hayes forwarded the email to Kitzhaber.
     “Hey Dear,” Hayes’ email to Kitzhaber said. “This would be one to refer back to me. Love, C.”
     Other emails highlighted the couple’s political partnership.
     In September 2011, Kitzhaber told an official with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Sustainable Development Program to include Hayes in follow-up emails about a meeting the group had with the governor.
     “I look forward to seeing your draft document,” Kitzhaber wrote. “And could you please copy Cylvia on all this as we are pretty much joined at the hip in this policy space.”
     Last month, a Marion County Circuit Court judge ordered Hayes to turn over emails on her personal computer for an in camera review. The decision came in response to Hayes’ dispute over a newspaper’s public-records demand to view emails concerning state business or containing the phrase “first lady” or the acronym “FLO” (First Lady of Oregon).
     Kitzhaber has denied wrongdoing and blamed his resignation on the “the escalating media frenzy” after fellow Democrats called for him to step down.

%d bloggers like this: