Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan quits Marijuana consultancy
SALEM - Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announced Monday she has quit her consultancy with a marijuana company and apologized to Oregonians for "harming the trust that I've worked so hard to build."
But she also says she followed state ethics guidelines in taking the outside position to supplement her income.
KTVZ's Blake Mayfield attended Monday's virtual press conference, and asked the Secretary of State how she plans to gain Oregon voters trust back. He'll have his report on her response tonight at Five on NewsChannel 21.
Here's her full statement, ahead of a late-morning news conference, and the contract that she released to the media Monday morning.
“Today I am announcing that I have terminated my contract with Veriede Holdings, LLC.
“I owe the people of Oregon an apology. I exercised poor judgment by contracting with a company that is owned by my significant political donors and is regulated by an agency that was under audit by my Audits Division. I am sorry for harming the trust that I’ve worked so hard to build with you over the last few years, and I will spend the next two years working hard to rebuild it.
“Earlier this year, I began working for supplemental income, both at Willamette University Law School teaching a class and as an independent contractor consulting with Veriede Holding on the cannabis industry outside of Oregon.
" I diligently followed the Oregon Government Ethics Commission’s published guidelines for private employment of public officials, the same exact ethics rules I’ve followed for a decade, since I became a legislator in 2013.
"I look forward to the findings of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission because they will confirm that I followed Oregon ethics rules and laws. I am also eager for the Department of Justice’s review of the OLCC audit because the review will verify that hard-working auditors in the Oregon Audits Division conducted their work with independence and integrity.
“I’m holding a press conference today to answer questions and to own that there is a difference between following all the rules and doing nothing wrong. I broke your trust. That was wrong. I am truly sorry.
“My mission as Secretary of State continues to be to build trust. The first step to building trust is admitting that I broke it. I’ll spend the next two years rebuilding your trust in me and that starts today with releasing the contract that will be reviewed by the Government Ethics Commission.”