Ex-Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber to pay $20,000 for ethics violation

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Government Ethics Commission has voted to accept a settlement with former Gov. John Kitzhaber that requires him to pay a $20,000 fine for violating state ethics laws.

The Statesman Journal in the state capital report s that Kitzhaber attended Friday’s meeting in Salem and expressed regret for his mistakes.

Kitzhaber resigned in 2015 amid allegations that fiancee Cylvia Hayes used their relationship to win contracts for her consulting business. Though no criminal charges were filed, the ethics panel determined that Kitzhaber violated rules against conflicts of interest and using the office for private gain.

Kitzhaber faced a maximum fine of $50,000, but ethics cases are often negotiated for reduced settlements.

Commissioner David Fiskum says the settlement ends a sad chapter in Oregon’s history.