GOP chairman Bob Tiernan asked Gov. Ted Kulongoski
today to suspend Cylvia Hayes
from the governor's Renewable Energy Working Group.
Hayes, who is Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber's
girlfriend, co-chairs the renewable energy group. And Tiernan complains in his letter to Kulongoski of a "double standard" because Hayes remains in the working group while the Oregon Department of Energy has placed three employees on administrative leave. The three employees are on leave pending a state and federal investigation of "potential contracting irregularities" (as WW reported
earlier) involving ODOE and 3E Strategies—a company Hayes runs.
Here are excerpts in the letter from Tiernan, not normally known as a strong defender of public employees:
"I am urging you remove Ms. Hayes from the Renewable Energy Working Group until the investigation is complete," Tiernan wrote.
"Given that Ms. Hayes has been a prominent figure in the development of your administration's renewable energy agenda, this action would remove the impression that favoritism, real or perceived, is in play while the investigation is being conducted. It would be prudent for the administration to apply a uniform standard while the 3E Strategies contract is in question.
I am hopeful that you and I will agree that it is in the best interest of all Oregonians to remove any potential double standard in this matter. This is not a partisan or political matter, but one of fairness. Thank you in advance for your interest in this important matter."
Kulongoski's spokewoman, Anna Richter Taylor, was not immediately available for comment
Updated with response:
"This is not a double standard," says Kulongoski's spokeswoman Anna Richter Taylor said via email Monday afternoon. "The Governor always follows the advice of his attorneys in matters like this - and this case is no exception. The three individuals put on leave were done so at the advice of DOJ."