Cylvia Hayes criticized for 'bad faith' in bankruptcy proceedings

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2015, file photo, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber escorts his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, onto the House floor before he is sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term as governor in Salem, Ore. A federal appellate court panel has ruled that a subpoena seeking emails from former Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber as part of an influence-peddling investigation is too broad. Kitzhaber resigned in 2015 amid suspicion that his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, used her relationship with him to earn lucrative consulting contracts. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Government Ethics Commission has accused former Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes of using her bankruptcy proceeding to drag out a resolution of her ethics case months longer than needed.

The Statesman Journal reports that Carolyn Wade, a senior assistant attorney general representing the commission, made the claim in a Dec. 31 filing in Hayes' bankruptcy proceeding. Hayes filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in July 2018.

In addition to up to $110,000 in possible civil penalties from 22 ethics violations, Hayes has a more than $124,000 judgment against her for a public records lawsuit The Oregonian won.

Wade said the bankruptcy proceeding is meritless.

The ethics commission ruled in January 2018 - six months before Hayes filed for bankruptcy - that she violated state ethics laws by using her position for the financial benefit of herself and her business.

Many of the violations centered around Hayes' work on environmental consulting contracts while also involved as an unpaid adviser who did energy policy work in Gov. John Kitzhaber's office.

Kitzhaber resigned in 2015 amid allegations that Hayes used their relationship to win contracts for her consulting business. He agreed to pay a separate $20,000 penalty from the ethics commission stemming from conflicts of interest tied to his interest in Hayes' company.

Wade said in the filing that six months after filing for bankruptcy, Hayes' bankruptcy plan still hasn't been evaluated at a confirmation hearing.

But Michael Fuller, Hayes' attorney, called the ethics commision filing a "placeholder objection" needed to preserve the commission's claim. The commission had a Dec. 31 deadline, as did The Oregonian, to file a response or objections with the bankruptcy court.

Fuller said he expects to finalize terms of an agreement with the ethics commission within several weeks.

The agreement will "resolve all issues between my client and the commission," he said.

Officials from the ethics commission were unavailable for comment.

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