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New Release of John Kitzhaber Emails Shows Deep Influence of Girlfriend

The former Oregon governor had staff involve Cylvia Hayes in official decisions early on. Kitzhaber and Hayes are being investigated in connection with consulting contracts she received to promote policies she also pursued as the state's first lady.

Emails released Tuesday from John Kitzhaber's official Gmail account deepened the record of how the former governor brought Cylvia Hayes into his administration early on and pushed staff to involve her in core state policies. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's office released 5,000 emails from that account and continues to review another 12,000. Instead of using a state-issued account, Kitzhaber used a Gmail account for his work as early as March 2011, the newly released emails show.

The Oregonian/OregonLive sought the emails in a public records request filed with the governor's office last October, when Kitzhaber was still in office. That request also covered a personal account Kitzhaber used that inadvertently was stored on state computers. Brown's office isn't releasing any of those because of efforts by Kitzhaber's attorneys to keep them private.

Kitzhaber and Hayes are being investigated in connection with consulting contracts she received to promote policies she also pursued as the state's first lady. The investigation by the FBI and the IRS sought access to email records from both of Kitzhaber's personal accounts.

Daniel Luzer is GOVERNING's news editor.
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