Oregon official says he was questioned by FBI, IRS
PORTLAND — The director of the Oregon state Department of Administrative Services says he was questioned two weeks ago by agents from the FBI and the IRS in a federal investigation of former Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.
Michael Jordan also disclosed Wednesday in an interview with The Oregonian that state technicians went through the offices of the governor after Kate Brown took office to gather computers and other electronics used by Kitzhaber staffers. Jordan says they told him they did so after discussions with the office of U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.
Marshall's office didn't return a call seeking comment, and Brown's office declined comment, the newspaper reported.
An IRS spokesman said that agency does not comment about ongoing investigations.
Kitzhaber resigned last week following a series of reports about Hayes' work for advocacy groups with an interest in Oregon public policy. He has maintained the couple did nothing wrong.
Jordan told the newspaper he also wanted to elaborate on why he asked Oregon State Police to investigate the disclosure of some of Kitzhaber's personal emails to a reporter, as well as his reasons for putting two workers from his agency on administrative leave while a separate internal investigation is underway.
Jordan said the two were not placed on leave in connection with the leak probe. Nor were they punished for preserving evidence, he said.
Jordan said he was at his home in Canby when an FBI agent and an IRS agent knocked at the door, then questioned him for an hour, focusing on three points.
Two were about Hayes' work for Demos, a nonprofit that's one of her consulting clients. The agents asked about emails showing that Kitzhaber urged Jordan to hire a man connected to Demos.
Jordan said he told the agents he didn't feel pressure to hire the man and didn't know then that Hayes was being paid by Demos.
The agents also asked whether Kitzhaber's emails were being preserved. Jordan said they were.
The next day, Kitzhaber announced to Jordan and other senior staffers that he was resigning.
Jordan soon saw the two agents again, when they climbed out of their parked car in the state capital of Salem and handed him a federal subpoena demanding email correspondence sent and received by Kitzhaber, Hayes, and 15 employees — including Jordan.