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Former Oregon First Lady agrees to $50k fine

Former Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes has agreed to pay a fine of $50,000 after she was accused of committing 22 violations of state ethics laws

Posted: Apr 17, 2019 5:35 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2019 5:44 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Former Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes has agreed to pay a fine of $50,000 after she was accused of committing 22 violations of state ethics laws.

The agreement, contained in a "stipulated final order" released Wednesday by the Oregon Ethics Commission, is subject to the commission' approval at its meeting on Friday.

In March, the nine-member commission unanimously rejected a $44,000 settlement that Hayes had agreed to, with one commissioner saying the panel had been offended by Hayes' failure to appear before the commissioners.

Ethics investigators concluded last year that Hayes abused her access as an adviser and consultant to Gov. John Kitzhaber, her fiance, who resigned amid the scandal in 2015.

Hayes was first lady of Oregon and an unpaid policy adviser to Kitzhaber from 2011 to 2015 on clean energy, ocean health and a clean economy, but received payments via a company she owned and another one she worked for to advocate for those issues, the commission said.


Hayes filed for bankruptcy in July of last year after taking The Oregonian to court over public records used by the paper.


The commission's complaint against Hayes notes that she maintains that she did not intentionally use her position as first lady or unpaid adviser to the governor to advance her financial interests, but says the issue of intent is irrelevant.

Hayes, in the agreement she signed on April 9, disputes some of the accusations but wants to move on. She faced a maximum $110,000 fine.

"Ms. Hayes will agree to a civil penalty ... in the amount of $50,000 in order to settle and compromise this matter," the agreement states.

Hayes filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in July 2018. It was not immediately clear what effect that would have on her responsibility to pay any eventual fine.

Last year, Kitzhaber settled his own ethics violations in the case with a $20,000 fine. The Democrat had resigned due to the influence-peddling scandal just over a month into his fourth term as governor.

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