Oregon “First Lady” Cylvia Hayes was part of a green card “marriage of convenience” in exchange for $5,000 in cash. Governor John Kitzhaber and Hayes are only engaged and not yet married, but Hayes is commonly referred to as the first lady in the state. Governor Kitzhaber knew his fiancée had been married and divorced twice before, but he reportedly received quite an surprise when learning about the his beloved’s 18-year-old Ethiopian ex-husband.
Cylvia Hayes tearfully admitted to the green card marriage to the immigrant after an Oregon newspaper reported the matter. “The most painful part for me [is that] John Kitzhaber deserved to know the history of the person he was forming a relationship with,” Hayes told Oregon’s Fox 12 News. “The fact that I did not disclose this to him meant that he has learned about this in the most public and unpleasant way,” she added.
While she wiped away tears during a Thursday press conference, Oregon’s first lady revealed that she had accepted approximately $5,000 to marry Abraham Abraham in 1997, so that he could remain in America. “It was a marriage of convenience. He needed help and I needed financial support,” Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s fiancée told the media. Although the Democratic governor has not discussed his fiancee’s green card marriage with the media yet, the incumbent may be forced to address the matter when he debates Republican State Representative Dennis Richardson later this evening.
Cylbia Hayes also said that she was “associating with the wrong people” when she was struggling financially to put herself through college. The governor’s potential wife was married and divorced twice before turning 30, and then married the immigrant from Ethiopia.
John Kitzhaber was Oregon’s governor from 1995 through 2003. He divorced his second wife, Sharon, not long after leaving office. In 2010, Kitzhaber once again won the political office. Cylvia Hayes has reportedly served happily as the de facto first lady, filling the role of a “political spouse” while continuing her career as an energy consultant.
A report in Willamette Week claims that Hayes used her informal first lady status and advisory role with Governor Kitzhaber in order to advance her private energy consulting business. She stated publicly that she would now step away from her work advising the governor, for now.
Dennis Richardson spokesperson Meredith Glacken had this to say about the governor fiancee’s green card shame marriage, “It’s clear from her past history that the first lady has had no qualms with breaking the law in order to make financial gains.” Cylvia Hayes claims she had been cautiously been attempting to avoid a conflict of interest between her first lady work and her energy consulting business.
What do you think about the Oregon first lady being involved in a green card marriage of convenience?