Gov. Kitzhaber seeks ethics review of first lady Cylvia Hayes - KPTV - FOX 12

Gov. Kitzhaber seeks ethics review of first lady Cylvia Hayes

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Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber is engaged to first lady Cylvia Hayes. Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber is engaged to first lady Cylvia Hayes.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV/AP) -

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has asked a state commission whether his fiancee is subject to state ethics law and, if so, whether she's broken the law.

The questions the governor's lawyer submitted Monday to the state ethics commission follow a Willamette Week report saying that Cylvia Hayes used her role as first lady to advance her consulting business.

Kitzhaber says his office has taken care to make sure that Hayes' consulting work doesn't pose a conflict of interest. But at least two contracts were reviewed only after they went into effect.

Hayes said last week that she was paid to marry an immigrant illegally in 1997. That marriage is not mentioned in the request submitted to the ethics commission.

A letter to the ethics commission sent by Kitzhaber's attorney asks for a complete review of Hayes' public role and private consulting contract, "with respect to keeping the roles separate and transparent."

The attorney attached copies of Hayes' recent contracts, including one with the east coast organization Demos.

Hayes sent Kitzhaber's chief of staff a memo addressing possible conflicts of interest acting as a liaison between Demos and key public officials.

In a follow-up memo, the governor's staff gave her the green light, saying the job would not require her to make any decisions on behalf of the state, so they did not anticipate any conflicts arising.

A spokesman for the ethics commission said they have 60 days to render an opinion in this case, which will then be passed on to the Department of Justice.

Copyright 2014 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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