Oregon Secretary of State to resign next week

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan will resign next week. Fagan plans to resign on May 8 due to a political scandal.

Fagan has received criticism for her decision to take a $10,000-per-month side job as a cannabis consultant. The contract came from the owners of a cannabis chain that her office was responsible for auditing, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers will take over the post until Governor Tina Kotek appoints a successor.

Initially, Fagan tried to justify the role. However, she backed down in the face of increased scrutiny and apologized on Monday.

“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,” Fagan said in a statement issued by her 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.”

Kotek accepted Fagan’s resignation.

“This morning, Secretary Fagan informed me of her decision to resign,” Kotek said in a press release issued by her office. “I support this decision. It is essential that Oregonians have trust in their government. I believe this is a first step in restoring that trust. During the upcoming appointment process, my office will do everything possible to support the hard-working staff in the Secretary of State’s office and ensure this will not disrupt the May 16 election.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, it is unclear who Kotek will appoint to serve as Secretary of State.

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