State Rep. Vicki Berger (R-Salem) today filed a complaint with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, seeking answers to a series of questions about the role of First Lady Cylvia Hayes has played in the administration of her fiancee, Gov. John Kitzhaber.
As WW reported last week, Hayes has served both as first lady and a policy adviser to Kitzhaber on energy and economic development. At the same time, she has landed contracts from private groups seeking to influence policy in those same areas, leading to the appearance of conflicts of interest.
Berger's complaint comes on the heels of a request for an ethics review Kitzhaber filed earlier this week and complaints filed yesterday by the Oregon Republican Party.
In her six terms as a lawmaker, Berger has built a reputation for moderation. Berger, who is not seeking re-election, has for instance endorsed Chuck Lee, the Independent Party candidate for her seat, rather than supporting the Republican nominee, radio talk show host Bill Post.
She is a second-generation legislator. Her father, Richard Chambers, wrote what became Oregon's bottle bill in 1969.
Here is the statement Berger released today:
I filed a complaint with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission as a
result of reports from the Willamette Week newspaper concerning possible
violation by Cylvia Hayes.
legislative career included participation in a 2008 Oregon Law
Commission workgroup which substantially reviewed and updated Oregonâs
Because of that work, I believe that the proper and appropriate agency
to investigate the issues which have been raised is the Oregon
Government Ethics Commission.
Governor has asked the Commission for an advisory opinion only. I am
asking for a full investigation of the possible misuse of state
resources by Ms.
Hayes. The first step in the Ethics Commission investigative process
is the filing of an official complaint.
deserve transparency in all government activities. Special deals are
prohibited by our ethics statutes. This standard applies at all levels,
the highest elected officials to the thousands of volunteers who serve
on state and local public boards and commissions. I hope that a
thorough investigation will provide confidence to Oregon citizens that
our ethics statutes are being fairly and equally
Here is the complaint Berger filed yesterday:
Complaint Form submitted to the Oregon Government
1. Did Cylvia Hayes, individually or
through her consulting business, 3E Strategies (or 3E Strategies, LLC), or any
other business or non-profit entity owned or controlled by her, engage in any
consulting activities for the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource Media using
State of Oregon supplies, facilities, equipment, employees, records or other
public resources, including government buildings such as offices, conference
rooms and/or Mahonia Hall?
2. Did Cylvia Hayes, individually or
through her consulting business, use Governor's Office staff to schedule
meeting or activities to further her work for the Energy Foundation, Demos or
3. Did Cylvia Hayes use confidential
information gained as a public official to benefit her work for the Energy
Foundation, Demos or Resource Media?
Did Cylvia Hayes use the title "First Lady" of Oregon in work that
she did, individually or through her consulting business, in private consulting
work that she or her firm did for the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource
5. Did Cylvia Hayes, individually or
through her consulting business, directly or indirectly, use her activities or
position as "First Lady" and policy advisor to the Governor in order
to obtain consulting contracts with the Energy Foundation, Demos or Resource
Did Cylvia Hayes fail to disclose her economic ties to the Energy Foundation,
Demos or Resource Media when speaking at events sponsored by them and using the
title of "First Lady?"
Did Cylvia Hayes accept an in-kind donation of the salary of a press
spokesperson from the Oregon Business Council, an organization which has
economic and/or administrative interest in state pol