The leaders of the Oregon Legislature's Democratic caucuses are preparing to call for Gov. John Kitzhaber's resignation, three sources tell WW.
Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) are drafting a statement saying Kitzhaber's immediate resignation is necessary amid a growing influence-peddling scandal surrounding him and First Lady Cylvia Hayes.
Courtney is expected to speak to media shortly.
UPDATE, 1:11 pm: State Treasurer Ted Wheeler has called for Kitzhaber's resignation.
"âIt is with deep sadness that I ask Governor John Kitzhaber to resign his position as Governor of Oregon," Wheeler says in a statement. "He has accomplished many great things during his long career, and history will be kinder to him than current events suggest.
âUnfortunately, the current situation has become untenable, and I cannot imagine any scenario by which things improve. Oregon deserves a Governor who is fully focused on the duties of state.
âI hope the Governor will do the right thing for Oregon and its citizens.â
At 1 pm, Courtney told assembled press in the state capitol that he and Kotek asked Kitzhaber for his resignation this morning. But the senate president said he has no certainty the governor will quit—and can't make him leave.
"There is no further step," he told the Salem Statesman Journal. "We have no powers...He's gonna do what he's gonna do."