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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.

Oregon Governor's Chief Of Staff Resigns

Office of the Governor
Oregon Governor's Office
File photo of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is looking for a new chief of staff heading into the 2017 legislative session. The governor's office announced Tuesday that Kristen Leonard will resign at the end of January.

Leonard has served in the role for just over a year. She came to the governor's office from the Port of Portland, where she held a public affairs position.

Last fall, Portland's Willamette Week newspaper reported that Leonard had been slow to disclose a conflict of interest involving a public contract held by a software company owned by Leonard and her husband. But the governor's office said that Leonard had already planned to limit her work in the governor's office to a year and that her departure was unrelated to recent news coverage.

The resignation will take effect one day before the beginning of the 2017 legislative session.

In a statement, Brown said Leonard "executed this job with integrity and distinction, and I am grateful for her dedicated service."

Leonard is the second chief of staff to resign in Brown's first two years in the governor's office. The first, Brian Shipley, stepped down abruptly in November of 2015 after nine months on the job. His resignation was announced by the governor's office two hours after it took effect.