Former Gov. Kitzhaber says resignation was 'in no way an admissi - KPTV - FOX 12

Former Gov. Kitzhaber says resignation was 'in no way an admission of guilt'

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Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. (Image: Facebook) Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. (Image: Facebook)

A month after former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber broke his year-long silence, he has released another online video to address why he resigned from office.

Last month, Kitzhaber created a Facebook page and posted a video saying he intentionally kept a low profile after leaving office, but said he didn't want his career and reputation to be "defined by a media narrative that, from the start has been long on speculation and short on facts."

On Friday, Kitzhaber posted another video titled, "Why I resigned."

Kitzhaber said his decision to step down was "in no way an admission of guilt."

Federal agents are investigating whether Kitzhaber and his fiancee Cylvia Hayes used their roles in Salem to win contracts for her consulting business. No charges have been filed.

Kitzhaber said it all started with a newspaper article that was picked up by the "broader media here in Oregon and represented as facts, with no independent verification whatsoever."

He said the controversy was beginning to undermine the legislative process and the office of governor.

"People began to take these unsubstantiated allegations and use them as an excuse to oppose legislation that was very important to me, and I think important to Oregon," Kitzhaber said in the video.  

Kitzhaber said the subsequent "media storm" also took a terrible toll on his family.  

For those reasons, he said, "I felt the right thing to do was to step aside."

"Now, you know we all know that hindsight’s 20-20 and I have had some second thoughts about that decision. But the fact is at the time, I believed it was the right thing to do for Oregon, for the institutions to which I have committed my career, and for my family," he said.

Kitzhaber's resignation was effective Feb. 18, 2015. Kate Brown, then serving as secretary of state, took over and will seek election to remain in office in November.

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