Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announces resignation

Update (05/02/23, 1:40 p.m.) – Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s chief of staff resigned after Fagan announced her plan to do the same.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Emily Mclain sent Fagan her resignation at 12:45 p.m. She reportedly didn’t give a reason for her decision.

Original Story: SALEM, Ore. – Amid scrutiny over her consulting job with a cannabis company, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is resigning.

According to a report by Willamette Week, Fagan began working with the owners of the marijuana dispensary chain “La Mota” in February. Once her side job with the business came to light, Republican leaders accused Fagan of ethics violations and called for her resignation.

Eventually, Fagan terminated her contract with La Mota and issued an apology.

“I exercised poor judgement by contracting with a company that is owned by my significant political donors and is regulated by an agency that was under audit from by Audits Division,” Fagan said on Monday. “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.”

On Tuesday, Fagan announced she’s resigning from her position as head of Oregon elections.

She issued the following statement:

“While I am confident that the ethics investigation will show that I followed the state’s legal and ethical guidelines in trying to make ends meet for my family, it is clear that my actions have become a distraction from the important and critical work of the Secretary of State’s office. Protecting our state’s democracy and ensuring faith in our elected leaders – these are the reasons I ran for this office. They are also the reasons I will be submitting my resignation today. I want to thank the incredible staff in the Secretary of State’s office for their hard work and Oregonians for the opportunity to serve them. It has been a true honor to serve the people of Oregon. 

“At this time, I believe it is in the best interest of our state for me to focus on my children, my family, and personal reflection so that the Secretary of State staff can continue to offer the exemplary customer service Oregonians deserve.”

Secretary of State Fagan’s resignation is effective Monday, May 8. Her duties will be passed on to Deputy Secretary Cheryl Myers until a new secretary is appointed by Governor Tina Kotek.

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