Gov. John Kitzhaber provided a lucrative job in his administration to an longtime associate who found work for Kitzhaber's fiancee, Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes.
In 2011, Dan Carol, a veteran political consultant, arranged a high-paying assignment for Hayes, Oregon's first lady.
Starting in July or August of 2011, Hayes began a fellowship Carol arranged with the Clean Economy Development Center, a Washington, D.C. non-profit. That fellowship would pay her $118,000 over 18 months, for work that Hayes and Kitzhaber's office have yet to describe in any detail.
Right after Carol arranged that work for Hayes, Kitzhaber hired Carol to be his director of multi-state initiatives, a job that today pays Carol $165,720, according to state figures.
That's far more than anybody else on Kitzhaber's staff and nearly twice Kitzhaber's salary of $98,600.
Carol says Kitzhaber hired him because of the skills he brings to state work, not to repay a favor.
In a Feb. 3 email to WW, Carol describes what happened.
"Like many other people and many Oregonians, Cylvia Hayes sought my help to get advice, policy ideas and funding connections especially after I came back to Oregon after being in a senior role in the 2008 Obama campaign," Carol writes. "It was common knowledge in early 2011 that her role/her consulting practice created complications and at the same time I gather that there was careful consideration in the Governor's office about how to properly handle this challenge."
Hayes had been working in the first half of 2011 at Rural Development Initiatives, Inc., a Eugene non-profit that saw its state funding spike while Hayes was on the payroll.
But that job didn't work out and Carol came to the rescue. He connected her to Clean Economy Development Center, a Washington, D.C. non-profit formed in 2010 by Jeffrey King, a former Portland resident.
"I came up with the idea of the CEDC fellowship," Carol writes. "All parties liked the idea, including the Governor's office which reviewed the proposed structure and agreed that having Cylvia focus on replicating policies outside Oregon was a solution set for her role as a consultant."
In his email to WW, Carol emphasized that he was a "private citizen" when he came up with the idea to connect Hayes and the Clean Economy Development Center.
"No one in the Governor's office or the Governor ever asked me to do anything for Cylvia," Carol writes.
Hayes got paid handsomely by CEDC in 2011 and 2012. As WW reported last week, it does not appear that she declared the 2012 income of $88,000 on her federal tax return.
Carol says his finding Hayes work had nothing to do with Kitzhaber hiring him.
"The reason I was hired because I had worked for the Governor and with his first chief of staff several times before and because I had the right skills and national connections which among other accomplishments have helped the state obtain its unprecedented $1.9 billion federal waiver to drive community health innovation," Carol writes in a Feb. 4 email
Kitzhaber's spokeswoman, Amy Wojcicki, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.