SALEM, Ore. (CN) - Cylvia Hayes, whose business dealings contributed to the resignation of her fiance, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, is fighting a state order that she turn over emails to The Oregonian newspaper.
Hayes sued The Oregonian in Marion County Court on Thursday in response to the newspaper's demand for her emails under the Oregon Public Records Law.
The Oregonian on Jan. 29 demanded all emails that Hayes sent, received or was cc'd on since Jan. 1, 2011, if the messages concern state business or include the phrase "first lady" or the acronym "FLO," [First Lady of Oregon] regardless of where they are stored.
Hayes filed an opposition to The Oregonian's request on Feb. 9, claiming the Oregon Public Records Law does not pertain to her because she is not a public official. The Attorney General's Office denied it and granted The Oregonian's request on Feb. 12. It ordered Hayes "turn over all emails that relate to the conduct of public business," according to Hayes' lawsuit.
Hayes claims the emails The Oregonian wants are stored on her personal computer, and that she does not have a state email address. She says she asked for one, but was denied because she was not a state employee.
Kitzhaber resigned on Feb. 15 during his fourth term as governor. The FBI and the IRS are investigating claims that he and Hayes advocated agendas set by Hayes' clients at her private consulting firm, 3E Strategies.
Kitzhaber has denied wrongdoing and blamed his resignation on the "the escalating media frenzy" after fellow Democrats called for him to step down.
Hayes claims that any of her emails pertaining to state business or her duties as Oregon's first lady would be available via a public records request directed to the appropriate state agency.
Hayes is represented by Whitney Boise, with Hoevet Boise Olsen Howes, of Portland.
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