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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Probe Continues One Year After Kitzhaber's Resignation

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Office of the Governor
File photo. Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned on February 18, 2015.

It's been one year since Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber resigned. The Democrat stepped down last February amid an influence peddling investigation.

Kitzhaber was the first Oregon governor to resign under pressure. It came just over a month into his record-setting fourth term. But reports swirled about the governor and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, possibly using state resources to help Hayes' private consulting firm.

Top legislative leaders and other public officials from his own party pressured the governor to step down, and on February 18, he did. One year later an ongoing federal criminal investigation has not produced any charges.

Pacific University political analyst Jim Moore said that doesn't mean Kitzhaber is out of the woods yet.

"It's clearly taking them a long time to go through that evidence and then figure out if there's something that's worth pursuing that might be criminal,” Moore said.

If the federal investigation results in no charges, Kitzhaber still faces separate probes by the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

Kitzhaber was succeeded in the governor's office by then-Secretary of State Kate Brown. The Democrat is running this year to serve out the remaining two years of Kitzhaber's term.