John Kitzhaber resigned Friday afternoon at a press conference in Salem. Willamette Week’s Nigel Jaquiss reported that the governor met with staff and that it’s official.

Kitzhaber’s resignation will take effect Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.

“I understand that I have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which I have dedicated my career and, indeed, my entire adult life,” Kitzhaber said in his statement.

You can read Kitzhaber’s full statement of resignation here.

OPB’s Amanda Peacher tweeted the announcement Kitzhaber submitted to Secretary of State Kate Brown. Kitzhaber stepped down only four weeks into his new term.

Brown is set to take over as governor for the state of Oregon and will be sworn in as the 37th governor of Oregon Friday.

Brown reportedly has no press conference set for Friday.

Kitzhaber is the fifth Oregon governor to resign. The Oregonian reported that he is the first governor in Oregon to step down due to public scrutiny.

Kitzhaber’s historic fourth term has been tumultuous after a number of scandals, many involving his fiancée Cylvia Hayes and her consulting business perpetrating ethics violations, such as the unreported $118,000 Hayes received from the Clean Environment Development Center from Washington D.C.

“I am confident that I have not broken any laws nor taken any actions that were dishonest or dishonorable in their intent or outcome,” Kitzhaber said in his statement.

His statement goes on to say that he finds the persecution of the media in regards to this scandal “troubling,” and calls out former “allies” for being “willing to accept this judgement at face value.”

Senate President Peter Courtney, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and House Speaker Tina Kotek asked Kitzhaber to resign yesterday.

In December, Havard released a study citing Oregon as one of the least corrupt states.

The Oregonian has audio of the governor’s resignation.


Please consider donating to the Emerald. We are an independent non-profit dedicated to supporting and educating this generation's best journalists. Your donation helps pay equipment costs, travel, payroll, and more!