Cylvia Hayes, the longtime companion of Gov. John Kitzhaber, has accepted a job with the Eugene-based West Coast Regional Clean Economy Collaborative, according to Sustainable Business Oregon.

"We really see the benefit in building bridges between urban and rural communities around clean energy," Hayes' new boss, Craig Smith told Sustainable Business Oregon.

"We don't want anyone to think that we're trying to leverage influence" with the hire of Hayes, Smith added.

Before Kitzhaber's election in November, Hayes ran 3E Strategies, a Bend-based renewable energy consulting firm that did work for state agencies. That line of business presented potential conflicts, as evidenced by a 2010 Oregon Department of Justice investigation into contracting practices at the Oregon Department of Energy, where Hayes' company was a subcontractor.

An independent review of the DOJ investigation is being conducted by retired Judge Frank Yraguen and is expected to be completed by mid-March. At that time, the public will finally have access to the vast pile of information gathered between August and the end of December as investigators probed the contract ODOE issued and Hayes got a part of.

Four ODOE employees remain on administrative leave pending the completion of Yraguen's review.