Ethics panel rejects $1,000 fine for Kitzhaber

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Ethics Commission has rejected a $1,000 fine that had been proposed for former Gov. John Kitzhaber for failing to publicly declare a potential conflict of interest between his elected position and his partner's work.

The panel voted 7 to 1 Friday to deny the settlement, Ron Bersin, executive director of the commission, said in an email. The Portland Tribune reported that some commissioners felt the proposed fine was too low.

As part of the agreement, the commission would've dropped further investigation into whether Cylvia Hayes used her relationship as Kitzhaber's fiancee to win contracts for her green-energy consulting business. The commission could have assessed fines of up to a total of $20,000 for the known violations, which included Kitzhaber being credited frequent flier miles once when he traveled on state business.
 

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