The Oregon Ethics Commission on Friday voted 7-to-1 to deny a proposed settlement in which former Gov. John Kitzhaber agreed to pay $1,000 to resolve ethics complaints that he and first lady Cylvia Hayes used their public positions for profit, had conflicts of interest and inappropriately accepted gifts.
Kitzhaber on Wednesday admitted he violated state ethics laws on four occasions, though in an apology he said he did so unintentionally. The former governor said he did not disclose a conflict of interest related to Hayes’ paid consulting contracts based on the advice of his attorney at the time.
Kitzhaber said he was surprised by the commission’s decision, because ethics commission staff members had proposed the terms of the agreement. He had made no further comment as of 12:30 p.m. Friday.
News of the proposed settlement earlier this week spawned criticism that the penalty was too lenient on Kitzhaber’s missteps during his role as the state’s highest elected official.
Read the full story at the Portland Tribune.