Oregon to Settle With Kitzhaber Email Leaker

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Oregon said it will pay $286,000 to the former employee who leaked former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s emails to a local reporter, sparking the scandal that prompted Kitzhaber to step down.
     Former state technology manager Michael Rodgers agreed to resign and forgo a lawsuit in exchange for the settlement. Rodgers had accused the state of launching an unfair investigation against him in the wake of the scandal.
     Rodgers reportedly admitted to sending 6,000 emails from Kitzhaber’s personal Gmail account to a reporter from local news organization Willamette Week after Kitzhaber’s assistant allegedly asked Rodgers to delete the emails.
     Kitzhaber resigned on Feb. 15 during his fourth term as Oregon’s governor. The FBI and the IRS are investigating claims that he and fiancee 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.
     Gov. Kate Brown released 5,000 of Kitzhaber’s emails from the Gmail account on Sept. 9. She is still reviewing another 12,000 of Kitzhaber’s emails for possible release.
     This past month, an Oregon judge ordered Hayes to turn over personal emails that concerned state business or include the phrase “first lady” for an in camera review to decide whether they should be given to The Oregonian newspaper under the state’s public-records law.

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