Oregon Governor Planned to Resign Then Changed His Mind, Sources Say

February 12, 2015

Gov. John Kitzhaber decided to resign Tuesday but then changed his mind, insisting Wednesday afternoon that he's staying, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned.

Events developed as the Democratic governor, now in a historic fourth term and fighting multiple investigations, faced eroding support from other elected officials and even his own advisers.

The governor decided to pull back from resigning - set for Thursday or Friday -- after meeting with his attorney, Portland lawyer Jim McDermott, and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes. Hayes' role in his administration has been the source of much of his troubles.

The account of the tumultuous 24 hours was developed from a half-dozen sources with knowledge of the events.

The governor met with Senate President Peter Courtney on Tuesday to talk about where he - and equally important, the legislative projects that are central to  his legacy - stood.

He then met with House Speaker Tina Kotek for the same discussion. At issue: the damage to his work from the onslaught of news reports, day after day over the past two weeks, raising questions about his fiancee's propriety in her state work and on federal tax forms, and ultimately, his own ethical standards in addressing it.

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