Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber Resigns

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) announced his resignation from office Friday amid allegations of corruption, a month after he was sworn into office.

"It is not in my nature to walk away from a job I have undertaken -- it is to stand and fight for the cause," Kitzhaber said. "For that reason I apologize to all those people who gave their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades."

Kitzhaber continued: "I must also say that it is deeply troubling to me to realize that we have come to a place in the history of this great state of ours where a person can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced by the media with no due process and no independent verification of the allegations involved. But even more troubling -- and on a very personal level as someone who has given 35 years of public service to Oregon -- is that so many of my former allies in common cause have been willing to simply accept this judgment at its face value."

According to The Oregonian, his resignation is effective Wednesday.

Last week, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced that the governor and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, were under investigation over whether Hayes had used her relationship with Kitzhaber to benefit her consulting business.

"Recent allegations relating to Gov. Kitzhaber and Ms. Hayes are very serious -- and troubling,” Rosenblum said. "My office is considering all of our legal options to ensure that we are best serving the state."

On Friday evening, a U.S. Attorney issued a subpoena for records pertaining to Gov. Kitzhaber, his fiancée, and 15 members of Kitzhaber's administration, the Associated Press reported.

Kitzhaber, who was elected to a fourth term as governor in November, reportedly waffled over whether to step down. According to the Oregonian, Kitzhaber had decided to resign on Tuesday, but changed his mind and announced Wednesday that he would remain in office. However, as KOIN reported Friday, the governor ultimately decided to step down after the state's top Democrats said they could no longer support him.

Next in line to succeed Kitzhaber is Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown (D), who would be the first openly bisexual governor in U.S. history.

This is a developing story and has been updated.



United States Governors