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Behind the scandal that took down Oregon's John Kitzhaber

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Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber speaks in Salem, Ore.

Oregon has a new governor Wednesday: Kate Brown. The former Secretary of State took over from John Kitzhaber, who resigned last week amid a growing scandal.

Oregon got a new governor on Wednesday: Kate Brown. The former Secretary of State took over from John Kitzhaber, who resigned last week amid a growing scandal.

Kitzhaber was re-elected to a fourth term last November, but patronage issues involving his fiancée Cylvia Hayes grew to the point of distraction. Kitzhaber announced last week that he would resign. 

Willamette Week reporter

 has been writing about the scandal since the fall, but ethical questions surrounding Hayes drew Jaquiss's attention as far back as 2010.  "There were numerous instances in which she appeared to be acting as an adviser to the governor," Jaquiss says. "But also working for undisclosed private interests."

Jaquiss' series of stories took a look into those interests, which included her work as a private consultant for renewable energy issues.  The scandal soon spread, leading to Kitzhaber's resignation, and prompting state and federal investigations. "What they're looking at is essentially influence-peddling, selling access to the office," says  Jaquiss.

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