Feds launch massive criminal public corruption probe into Kitzhaber-Hayes

Gov Kitzhaber-Cylvia Hayes2_thb

by NW Spotlight

Nigel Jaquiss at Willamette Week reported yesterday that “The U.S. Department of Justice has filed criminal subpoenas with the state of Oregon seeking records related to outgoing [Democratic] Gov. John Kitzhaber and first lady Cylvia Hayes.”

Laura Gunderson at the Oregonian said the massive FBI investigation “looks to be the largest criminal investigation of a public official in Oregon.”

The FBI spokeswoman explained in a statement “Public corruption investigations are the FBI’s number one priority because such allegations, if proven true, strike at the very core of our government’s ability to serve the people of this state and this country.”

Willamette Week was first to report back in early January that the FBI had opened an investigation into Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes.

Willamette Week noted yesterday that “The U.S. Department of Justice employs a large public corruption unit, which pursues cases around the country. That unit recently completed a case against former [Republican] Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and his wife, resulting in a two-year prison sentence for McDonnell.”

Kitzhaber and Hayes are also under a criminal investigation at the state level, and Hayes may face an IRS investigation. They also still face a civil investigation by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

Other news outlets reporting on the federal criminal probe:

Salem Statesman Journal: Kitzhaber now subject of federal investigation

LA Times: Federal subpoena seeks Oregon state records concerning Gov. John Kitzhaber

CBS News: Feds subpoena Oregon governor, fiancée in ethics investigation