By Associated Press • 

Oregon releases 5,000 emails to, from former governor

SALEM — The Oregon governor's office on Tuesday released 5,000 emails from an account used by former Gov. John Kitzhaber for official business before he resigned in an influence-peddling scandal.

Some of the emails show Kitzhaber's fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, weighing in on environmental policy matters, such as crafting a 10-year energy plan and discussions of coal exports.

Kitzhaber stepped down in February amid allegations that Hayes used the governor's office to win contracts for her green-energy consulting business. The allegations have spawned a federal criminal investigation.

The emails give a glimpse at the internal debates and priorities during the first 16 months of Kitzhaber's third term. They show that the governor was conscientious about included Hayes on energy and environmental issues. Likewise, she pushed information from her contacts up to the governor.

Following a September, 2011 meeting about energy and the economy, an official from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's Sustainable Development Program sent a thank you note to Kitzhaber and others in the office.

“I look forward to seeing your draft document,” Kitzhaber replied. “And could you please copy Cylvia on all this as we are pretty much joined at the hip in this policy space.”

Other times, however, Hayes was left out, to her frustration.

In October, Kitzhaber staffers circulated a draft 10-year energy plan. The governor forwarded it to Hayes, who was disappointed the staffing outline didn't include her.

“Well, I'm not totally OK with the fact that it's my vision, my idea and I have no role at all,” Hayes wrote. “I have assumed all along that I'd have a part to play in the overarching vision and direction for this.”

Kitzhaber's reply: “And that is exactly why I sent the draft to you. What do you have in mind?”

Gov. Kate Brown's office says that 12,000 emails from Kitzhaber's account have yet to be reviewed for public release.

Emails from a separate account that Kitzhaber used for private business are not included in the release. Those emails were archived inadvertently on state servers, and Kitzhaber's lawyers are fighting to keep them private.

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