The IRS has joined the FBI in the federal investigation of Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.
Michael Jordan, the state’s chief operating officer, said in an interview Wednesday that he was questioned two weeks ago by agents from the FBI and IRS.
Jordan’s revelation is the first sign the IRS is part of the public corruption investigation. Although an IRS spokesman said the agency does not comment on ongoing investigations.
Hayes’ federal tax return for 2012 did not reflect all of her income from her environmental consulting business. Although the income could have been reported on her business tax return, she and her attorneys have not responded to repeated requests for those returns. Instead, Hayes hired a criminal defense attorney to deal with her tax situation.
Jordan, who runs the state Department of Administrative Services, disclosed in an interview Wednesday that state technicians gathered up computers and other electronics used by Kitzhaber staff members. Jordan was told that this happened after discussions with the office of U.S. attorney Amanda Marshall.
Marshall’s office didn’t return a call from the Oregonian seeking comment and Brown’s office declined comment.
In the interview, Jordan recounted events leading to the data leak investigation.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years now,” Jordan said. “This is the most bizarre set of circumstances I’ve lived through as a manager.”
Jordan has opened up about all the confusion.
In December, Kitzhaber called Jordan asking to confirm that the state data system was archiving emails from a gmail account he established for state business. The call was sparked by questions from The Oregonian about Kitzhaber’s use of non-state email accounts for public business.
Jordan assured Kitzhaber his emails had been preserved. Agency officials soon realized emails from two private accounts kept by the governor for personal business had been archived.
Three days later, a Kitzhaber friend and staff member, Jan Murdock, called the agency and requested the removal of the personal emails from the state archives. This request was denied and the decision was supported by Michael Rodgers, acting director of the center. Jordan said he supported the decision when he found out about it the next day.
The following week, Jordan was at home in Canby when there was a knock at the front door. Two agents – one FBI, one IRS – questioned Jordan for an hour.
The next morning, Jordan was leaving his office when the two agents climbed out of their parked car and handed him the federal subpoena demanding email correspondence sent and received by Hayes, Kitzhaber, and 15 employees – including himself.
After leaving his office and arriving at the Capitol, Kitzhaber announced his resignation in an 11 a.m. meeting on Feb. 13.
The following week, on Feb. 17, Jordan said a Kitzhaber aide tipped him about a possible leak of Kitzhaber’s personal emails. The following morning on Feb. 12, those emails were the center of a story published in Willamette Week.
Jordan called State Police Supt. Rich Evans to ask for an investigation because he felt the potential evidence should not have been leaked. He wasn’t sure a crime had occurred regarding Kitzhaber.
On the next day, Marshall Wells, an executive in the state’s data center, took a technical worker to the governor’s office. They secured the computers, belonging to some of the people named in a Feb. 12 subpoena issued by a federal grand jury. Possession was also taken of some state-owned cell phones and iPads that had been used by Kitzhaber’s staff.
Jordan immediately placed Rodgers and Wells on administrative leave pending a personnel investigation.
Jordan sought out state Chief Information Office Alex Pettit to review security concerns at the data center. From the seizure of computers, Jordan was motivated to launch the personnel investigation over concern his managers weren’t following the chain of command.
“We did enough interviewing with enough folks preliminarily to determine that there was no one within the structure of our leadership that had given permission to do that,” he said.
Next week, the FBI will host their third annual Bowl-a-thon and raffle fundraiser to benefit human trafficking survivors.
This open event is hosted by the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Funds generated will be donated to local charities as well as the Human Trafficking Committee (HTC) of the nonprofit Citizens Academy Alumni Association.
HTC assists survivors of sexual exploitation and educates the public about human trafficking’s effects on society.
The event will be held March 7 at Sunset Lanes in Beaverton from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Each ticket costs $30. Visit their website to register.
The charities benefitting from the fundraiser this year have not yet been named.
Last year, the event raised thousands of dollars for donation to the organizations Hope 82, House of Engedi, and assault prevention group Just Yell Fire.
Safe Choice Security (SCS), a company selling home security systems, video monitors, and other home safety devices, recently announced its list of the twelve safest cities in Oregon.
To compile the list, SCS used data from the 2012 FBI Crime Statistics report. Cities with the lowest levels of violent crime and property crime in Oregon made the list.
1 – Baker City: According to the data, Baker City is the #1 safest city in Oregon. Situated on the historic Oregon Trail and named after Senator Edward Baker, the only U.S. Senator to be killed in battle, Baker City boasts beautiful views of mountains and rivers.
2 – West Linn: Second safest is West Linn, a medium-sized city just outside of Portland. With two rivers and a nature conservancy, West Linn offers beautiful opportunities to be in the great outdoors.
3 – Sherwood: Sherwood is the third safest city in Oregon, with almost half of the households having young children. Named by Money Magazine as “one of the Best Places to Live,” Sherwood has space available for development, with many new businesses moving in.
4 – Silverton: Fourth on the list is Silverton, a small town north of Salem. Silverton boasts Silver Falls State Park, the largest park in Oregon, with gorgeous waterfalls and many hiking trails. The park is just across the road from a peaceful retreat center: Christian Renewal Center.
5 – Newberg: The fifth city is Newberg, in the heart of wine country. Farms, forest, and mountains create a beautiful backdrop to the town, which is also home to George Fox University and several historic homes, including the Herbert Hoover house.
6 – Umatilla: Umatilla, a small town near the Umatilla River is sixth on the list. The majority of households in Umatilla have children, and there are many outdoor opportunities available, such as boating, hiking, and fishing.
7 – Beaverton: Beaverton is seventh; it is also the largest on the list with over 100,000 inhabitants. Also named by Money Magazine as “one of the Best Places to Live,” Beaverton has many career opportunities, cultural events, and outdoor spaces.
8 – Lake Oswego: Eighth is Lake Oswego, which borders a private lake, driving up the cost of living due to the views. The many recreational opportunities in this city include horseback riding, tennis, golf, a country club, and many beautiful parks.
9 – Canby: Number nine, Canby, is named after a Civil War general, Edward Richard Sprigg Canby. The town hosts the Clackamas County rodeo each year and provides a free bus transportation system, Canby Area Transit.
10 – Monmouth: Education and safety have always been important to Monmouth, the tenth city. The first settlers built Monmouth University and banned alcoholic beverages, a prohibition which lasted until 2002.
11 – Scappoose: Scappoose, a small city northwest of Portland, is the eleventh town to make the cut. The word “Scappoose” is of Native American origin and means “gravelly plain.” The town is named after a nearby stream bearing the same name.
12 – Junction City: The twelfth and final city on the list is Junction City. With a population of 5500, it is the smallest city on the list. Farming is one of the biggest sources of income for this city, which also hosts a yearly daffodil festival.
For crime statistics on these cities and additional information, visit Safe Choice Security News.