Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

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.
Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
The 2021 Ideas Challenge recognizes innovative public policy that positively impacts local communities and the NewDEAL leaders who championed them.
Sponsored
Drug coverage affordability really does exist in the individual Medicare marketplace!
Sponsored
Understand the differences between group Medicare and individual Medicare plans and which plans are best for retirees.
Sponsored
For a while, concerns about credit card fees and legacy processing infrastructure might have slowed government’s embrace of digital payment options.
Sponsored
How expanded financial assistance, a streamlined application process and creative legislation can help Black and brown-owned businesses revive communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
Sponsored
In recent years, local governments have been forced to adapt to a wildly changing world, especially as it pertains to sending bills and collecting payments.
Sponsored
Workplace safety is in the spotlight as government leaders adapt to a prolonged pandemic.
Sponsored
While government employees, students and the general public had to wait in line for hours in the beginning of the pandemic, at-home test kits make it easy to diagnose for the novel coronavirus in less than 30 minutes.
Sponsored
Governments around the nation are working to design the best vaccine policies that keep both their employees and their residents safe. Although the latest data shows a variety of polarizing perspectives, there are clear emerging best practices that leading governments are following to put trust first: creating policies that are flexible and provide a range of options, and being in tune with the needs and sentiments of their employees so that they are able to be dynamic and accommodate the rapidly changing situation.