At least three top aides to former Secretary of State Dennis Richardson are out of jobs today as Richardson's successor, Secretary of State Bev Clarno moves to shape her staff for the next two years.
Gone are Richardson's deputy, Leslie Cummings, his chief of staff, Deb Royal and his legal advisor, Steve Elzinga. The Salem Statesman Journal first reported the departures.
All three worked in the "front office" of the secretary of state's office, which means they were political appointees who served at the pleasure of the secretary of state.
It is unclear whether state Elections Director Steve Trout and state Audits Director Kip Memmott, whose jobs are more technical and less political, will continue to serve under Clarno, whom Gov. Kate Brown appointed March 29 to serve out the remainder of Richardson's term. Richardson died of brain cancer last month. His term runs through the first week of January 2021.
A spokeswoman for Brown says the governor had nothing to do with Clarno's personnel moves.
"Secretary of State Bev Clarno's staffing decisions were made completely independently of the Governor and her staff, and were not considered as a part of her selection," Kondayen said in a statement. "The governor's office made no requests or demands of Secretary Clarno with respect to her staffing decisions."