Clarno Cans Richardson Staff

By Northwest Spotlight

Newly minted Secretary of State Bev Clarno (R-Redmond) has had a somewhat controversial start to her tenure in office. Reports surfaced Monday that the existing political staff put in place by Secretary Richardson were asked to submit their resignations.

The top three executives of the Secretary of State’s Office were asked to resign Monday morning, and have vacated their positions.
Leslie Cummings, acting secretary of state, Deb Royal, chief of staff and communications director, and Steve Elizinga, governmental and legal affairs director, are out.

Aubrey Wieber for Salem Reporter

Former State Representative Julie Parrish — a close ally of the late Secretary Richardson — confirmed on Twitter that Secretary Clarno hadn’t met with any of the staff before seeking their resignations.

Clarno provided a brief statement to the press.

“Secretary Clarno will also be meeting with state leaders and will begin to build her staff leadership team who will support her service,” the unsigned email reply read. “The Office of the Secretary of State will not comment on any staff transitions as they are personnel matters.”

Secretary Clarno to Salem Reporter

Willamette Week published a statement from a spokesperson for Governor Brown.

“Secretary of State Bev Clarno’s staffing decisions were made completely independently of the Governor and her staff, and were not considered as a part of her selection,” Kondayen said in a statement. “The governor’s office made no requests or demands of Secretary Clarno with respect to her staffing decisions.”

Governor Brown Spokesman to Willamette Week