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Oregon's former first lady Cylvia Hayes lands job at new Bend magazine

BEND, Ore. (AP) In a continued return to the public eye after leaving Salem under federal investigation, Oregon's former first lady Cylvia Hayes announced she's landed a new gig: freelance journalist.

Hayes was engaged to former Gov. John Kitzhaber when the two attracted a federal investigation into Hayes' landing private contracts as an environmental consultant while simultaneously advising Kitzhaber on public environmental policies.

After Kitzhaber resigned, the two headed to Bend and kept a low profile as public attention on their case died down. That low profile continued until recently, when Hayes and Kitzhaber began re-emerging in the public eye with statements to the media. Hayes also announced last fall she would continue working with clients through her consulting firm: 3E Strategies.

After slamming the media for what Hayes called "false allegations" and "misinformation" published in news stories that detailed the outsized role Hayes played in Kitzhaber's third administration, Hayes has stepped into a role as a journalist herself.

Hayes began writing a public blog last year, and articles under her name began appearing in the newly founded magazine Bend Level.

Last week, she wrote she was going "on assignment" covering a case against protesters who blocked oil trains in Washington for Issue Magazine, a Bend-based publication set to launch later this month.

In an email to The Bulletin on Monday, Hayes said writing for the magazine was a "natural progression" of what has been a "significant part of my professional life" for years.

In the wake of fallout around allegations that Hayes received contracts from environmental groups seeking to influence state policy through Kitzhaber, Hayes is now working for a magazine founded by a Bend woman with her own past legal issues.

Kristy D. Sinsara is listed on state documents as the owner of Issue Magazine. Sinsara filed paperwork founding the company with the state on Christmas Eve. The filing officially incorporated Issue Magazine LLC, which its website bills as a general interest publication.

Sinsara also founded two other magazines in 2015: Bend Level and Bend Life, according to state documents. Sinsara is listed as the top editor of Bend Level.

She said in an interview Monday she's dissolving Level and launching Issue later this month.

Before magazine publishing, Sinsara had forays in other businesses that put her under legal scrutiny.

In 2007, Sinsara pleaded no contest to obtaining money by false pretense in Oklahoma City after, the state said, she told a woman she worked as a paralegal for a local attorney and collected money. Court documents state Sinsara had no connection to the attorney, and she later received five years of probation for the offense.

"A long time ago . I thought I was going to be the world's most amazing, most prolific, life-changing attorney. That didn't happen," Sinsara said. "The story behind that is not all true, but it's also not all false, to be honest with you. I shouldn't have done what I did, but I didn't do what I was accused of."

From Oklahoma City, Sinsara made her way to Nevada, where a 2010 filing from the state Department of Business and Industry alleges she worked as an unlicensed loan modification consultant through a company called the Consumer Advocacy Group. Nevada law requires mortgage consultants to get a license unless they're a registered 501(c)(3). The state said Consumer Advocacy Group applied for but had not received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and therefore its agents needed to be licensed.

On Aug. 13, 2010, the state filed its final cease-and-desist order seeking to fine Sinsara $10,000 for operating without a proper license and for the cost of the investigation and attorney's fees.

"It didn't get resolved; it just went away. I gave (the business) all to a law firm," Sinsara said Monday.

Sinsara later relocated to Bend, where she worked as a social media consultant, landing as a client Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil, who has 362,000 followers on Twitter.

Neil filed suit last March in Clark County (Nevada) District Court, alleging Sinsara refused to give back access to his social media accounts when he asked.

"Sinsara maintains control over the accounts because she is using them to trade on Neil's fame and celebrity as a means of promoting Sinsara and her works," the complaint alleged, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Neil dropped the suit last summer after Sinsara turned over the passwords.

Sinsara said Monday the dispute stemmed from a disagreement with Neil's girlfriend, Rain Hannah, and that the two have spoken after the lawsuit was dropped.

In addition to founding and editing new magazines in town, Sinsara is a relationship blogger, radio show host and author, according to her website.

Sinsara said she and Hayes met through mutual friends and that she was drawn to Hayes' personal struggle to escape public scrutiny over the ongoing federal investigation. She said she and Hayes have become "really good friends."

"I'm pretty open and honest about my story, so I talk a lot about it," she said. "My latest book I have out talks in detail about mistakes that made my life, how things have gone, the need for personal forgiveness, which is kind of what drew me to Cylvia.

"I knew when I hired Cylvia on it was going to cause a lot of eyes to look at me and eyes to look at the magazine, good and bad," Sinsara said. "I guess as an (up-and-coming) journalist myself it's one of those things I just have to be prepared for."

Hayes' name appears on the staff list as one of several freelance writers, focusing on community interest.

"Cylvia spends time with her two best loves fiance John and hound dog Tessa. She also loves running, weightlifting, hiking, rafting and cheering on the Seattle Seahawks."

Hayes' new role as a journalist at the magazine was first reported by Willamette Week.

She wrote in her email to The Bulletin "there is nothing new to report regarding the investigation," and she was "very much looking forward to the facts coming to light."

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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