Oregon Secretary of State Resigns Amid Cannabis Consultant Controversy

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan submitted her resignation this week due to controversy surrounding her role as a cannabis industry consultant.

Full story after the jump.

Oregon’s secretary of state resigned on Tuesday amidst the controversy surrounding her role as a consultant for a cannabis company, Oregon Live reports. Shemia Fagan announced on Monday that she had left the consulting role after Republican lawmakers called for her to resign from her office and Gov. Tina Kotek (D) had requested an ethics probe into her cannabis gig.  

“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. 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.” — Fagan, in a statement, via Oregon Live 

Fagan’s cannabis consulting job with Veriede Holdings, an affiliate of the cannabis chain La Mota, had paid her $10,000 a month. 

In a statement, Kotek said she supported Fagan’s decision to step down.  

“It is essential that Oregonians have trust in their government. I believe this is a first step in restoring that trust,” Kotek said. “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.” 

Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers will take over for Fagan until Kotek appoints a new secretary of state to serve out the remainder of Fagan’s term, which runs until January 2025. 

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