Oregon’s Secretary of State, Shemia Fagan, worked as a consultant for a cannabis company in which she was paid $10,000 a month. An ethics investigation is underway to determine if she broke any ethics rules by working for a company made of political donors.
In the meantime, Fagan stepped down from her role as Secretary of State.
“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,” reads Fagan’s statement about her resignation.
Fagan received two months of the $10,000 salary before she terminated her contract with the company.
As for the exact details of how the conflict of interest occurred, it seems her office was conducting an audit of the cannabis industry. She recused herself just before accepting the contract, however most of the work had already been done at that point. Also, the owner of the chain Fagan was consulting had donated to her campaign to become Secretary of State in 2020.
“I exercised poor judgment by contracting with a company that is owned by my political donors and is regulated by an agency that was under audit by my audits division. There’s a difference between following all the rules and doing nothing wrong, and I broke your trust and that was wrong,” said Fagan at a news conference.
As cannabis runs more and more like a giant industry, abuses of power grow more frequent.
Read the original story at CNN.