Gov. Brown's chief of staff resigns

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Gov. Kate Brown's chief of staff, Kristen Leonard, has resigned, effective only a day before the 2017 legislative session begins.

In a statement, Brown noted that Leonard began her job in late 2015, committing to serve for one year, and extended it to help oversee the completion of Brown's state budget proposal. The resignation is effective Jan. 31.

Willamette Week recently reported that Leonard and her husband, Kevin Neely, had a financial interest in a book-keeping firm whose biggest client was Brown's re-election campaign, and that Neely's software company had a $214,000 state contract up for renewal this year.

Brown spokesman Chris Pair said the resignation is unrelated to the reports. Brown's communications office tweeted recently that Leonard had officially made the financial disclosures months earlier.


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