Cylvia Hayes: Still under investigation, shares her story

Preview clip: Former Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes talks about why she's avoided talking to the media about the scandal surrounding her, until now.

WATCH the full story on KATU News at 11 p.m.

Cylvia Hayes is gun shy about talking to the media.

The only time Hayes has spoken publicly about the scandal surrounding her actions as Oregon's first lady - the scandal that contributed to the resignation of her fiancé Gov. John Kitzhaber - was at that tearful news conference in October 2014 where she admitted to entering into a green card marriage in her past. She's ready to talk now. KATU's Hillary Lake spoke with her one-on-one at her home in Bend, and Hayes admits the thought of opening up to a member of the media terrifies her.

"I don't think a person can be prepared to be publicly shamed for a year. I was damaged," Hayes said.

Hayes is the subject of a federal investigation into possible ethics violations during her time as first lady. The primary question is whether she used taxpayer resources in her role as first lady to profit in her private consulting business. The investigation started about one year ago, and Hayes says she doesn't know where it stands.

"I had no idea that the investigation would go on this long. I think there was a part of me that was like, 'Ok. Let's get that wrapped up and done and then move back on.' I'm floored at how long it's taken."

Federal investigators won't comment on the case, and it's the big unknown about the investigation that's prompting Hayes to step forward now and share her story.

Hayes's federal defender tells KATU News it's typical for investigations to take this long, and they look forward to talking with investigators when it's time.

The no-holds-barred interview airs tonight on KATU News at 11 p.m., and Cylvia Hayes answers the questions Oregonians want to know.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off