Meet Cylvia Hayes, the self-proclaimed first lady of Oregon who is arguably responsible for soiling former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s name. The Daily Caller named her a “corrupt, serial-marrying tree-hugger with a background of scandals galore” and the Daily Beast called her “Oregon’s Lady Macbeth” -- but why?
Hayes, 47, is a native of Seattle who founded 3EStrategies, a clean economy consulting firm. It was originally nonprofit.
But, back to her beginnings. Hayes received a master’s degree in environmental studies from Evergreen State College, a liberal-arts school in Olympia, Washington. Soon after graduation in 1997, she moved to Oregon.
Hayes tried her hand at politics and failed in 2002 when she ran for the Oregon Legislature. After meeting on the campaign trail, Hayes and Kitzhaber started a romantic relationship despite a 20-year age difference.
It wasn’t until she helped Kitzhaber with his campaign in 2010 that she got a real taste of politics. She was able to move into governor’s mansion in Salem after he won re-election. It was the first time the governor of Oregon had a live-in girlfriend.
She’s also an environmentalist concerned about climate control. “We’re past the point where we can sit back and wait,” she said in a 2007 video. “We work directly within the community to create real clean energy products [and] to help build buildings that produce more energy than they consume.”
Scandal erupted in 2014 when it was discovered she married an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant in 1997. It was one of her three failed marriages. The couple was married for less than five years, and there are questions about its authenticity -- especially since Hayes was paid $5,000, the Daily Beast said. Around the same time, she also reportedly planned to start a marijuana farm, the Associated Press reported.
Kitzhaber said he was unaware of his fiancée’s prior nuptials. “The fact that I did not disclose this to him meant that he has learned about this in the most public and unpleasant way,” she said. “This is my greatest sorrow in this difficult situation.”
It was further discovered Hayes advised state employees even though she isn’t a public official, the Associated Press said. Hayes could face charges.
Kitzhaber has resigned in the wake of revelations Hayes was paid at least $213,000 while reportedly acting as a policy adviser since the governor assumed office, the AP reported.
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