SALEM — Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today announced that, at the request of federal authorities, she will temporarily defer the Oregon Department of Justice’s investigation into allegations against former Governor John Kitzhaber and Ms. Cylvia Hayes. In return, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has agreed to share information with the state once the far-ranging federal criminal investigation is completed.
Rosenblum, a former federal prosecutor and a former state judge, thanked United States Attorney Amanda Marshall and the FBI for their cooperation and stated:
“I reiterate my prior statement that Oregonians deserve a thorough review of the allegations surrounding now former-Governor Kitzhaber and Ms. Hayes. I fully support the efforts of the federal authorities. We share the ultimate goal of protecting the integrity of our state institutions through a comprehensive investigation. My decision to temporarily defer our state investigation is in line with this shared goal. At the appropriate time, we will review the facts, and investigate further if necessary, to ensure that any violations of state law are addressed.”
Oregon statutes require the state Attorney General to investigate allegations of public corruption and malfeasance by public officials, and they encourage cooperation and coordination with local, state and federal authorities. State law also provides that following the investigation, the Attorney General is to coordinate, cooperate and assist in taking legal action, as appropriate.