In a surprising turn of events, Oregon’s Secretary of State, Shemia Fagan, announced her resignation amidst controversy surrounding her involvement as a consultant for a cannabis company. Fagan’s decision came after Republican lawmakers called for her resignation and Governor Tina Kotek requested an ethics probe into her cannabis gig, as reported by Oregon Live.
Fagan, who had been serving as the Secretary of State, disclosed on Monday that she had left her consulting role following the mounting criticism. She stated that while she was confident that the ethics investigation would reveal her adherence to the state’s legal and ethical guidelines, she recognized that her actions had become a distraction from the vital work of the Secretary of State’s Office. Protecting Oregon’s democracy and ensuring trust in elected leaders were the reasons she initially pursued the office, leading to her decision to submit her resignation, as stated in her press release via Oregon Live.
Fagan’s consulting job with Veriede Holdings, an affiliate of the cannabis chain La Mota, had been paying her $10,000 per month. Oregon Governor Tina Kotek expressed support for Fagan’s decision to step down, emphasizing the importance of trust in government. Kotek regarded Fagan’s resignation as a first step toward restoring that trust and reassured Oregonians that the upcoming appointment process would be handled diligently. During the transition, Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers will temporarily assume the responsibilities until Governor Kotek appoints a new Secretary of State to fulfill the remainder of Fagan’s term, which concludes in January 2025.
The resignation of Oregon’s Secretary of State has undoubtedly sent shockwaves through the state’s political landscape. As the appointment process unfolds and a new Secretary of State takes office, it is crucial to stay informed about the developments that will shape Oregon’s future.