Last month, WW reported that Gov. John Kitzhaber and first lady Cylvia Hayes were both being represented by the same lawyers at the Ball Janik firm in connection with a pending investigation by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.
That puzzled some members of the legal community because Kitzhaber and Hayes' legal interests may diverge at some point, and so having the same lawyers—Jim McDermott and Steve Janik—could present problems.
Today, Kitzhaber and Hayes appear to have arrived at that conclusion as well.
In response to an emailed question from WW regarding Hayes' communications—which she and the governor's office have refused to release—McDermott sent the following message:
"My firm has been representing Gov. Kitzhaber and Ms. Hayes. In light of Ms. Hayes's recent tax situation, Whitney Boise (who is copied on this email) will be taking over the representation of Ms. Hayes. My firm will no longer be representing Ms. Hayes. My firm will continue representing Gov. Kitzhaber.Please direct your questions about Ms. Hayes to Whitney Boise."
The "recent tax situation" to which McDermott refers is the revelation two weeks ago that Hayes appears not to have declared on her federal tax return some or all of $118,000 she received in 2011 and 2012 from a now-defunct Washington D.C.-based non-profit called the Clean Economy Development Center.
Whitney Boise is one of Oregon's top criminal defense lawyers.