PORTLAND, OR -- Despite the rumors, Governor John Kitzhaber says he will not resign. Kitzhaber spoke to reporters outside his Portland home Wednesday night and said he did talk with legislative leaders and Secretary of State Kate Brown, confirming he asked Brown to return early from a conference she was attending in Washington, D.C. She is the president of the Secretaries of State Association and was slated to speak at that conference. Brown is next in line, should the Governor step down.
Some news outlets quoted sources with direct knowledge of the situation that Kitzhaber had reached a decision to resign, but changed his mind for unknown reasons. "Let me be as clear as I was last week, that I have no intention of resigning as Governor of the state of Oregon," Kitzhaber said in a statement. "I was elected to do a job for the people of this great state and I intend to continue to do so."
Nigel Jaquiss with Willamette Week has followed the scandal since the beginning, and says the ever changing story isn't over. "He's now pulled an about face that he won't resign. I suspect there's negotiating going on and this could be part of those negotiations. I don't know, but my guess is he's trying to cut a deal with the Attorney General - 'I'll go away if you drop the investigation.' That's my speculation."
Kitzhaber, who just started his fourth term as governor, has battled ethics allegations surrounding consulting deals involving his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.