Oregon governor’s fiancée admits to illegally marrying immigrant

Governor Oregon First LadyCylvia Hayes, fiancee of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, cries as she speaks at a news conference in Portland, Ore. on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014.

(Reuters) – The fiancée of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber said on Thursday she had once married a 18-year-old immigrant student in exchange for some $5,000 she used to pay her school tuition and buy a laptop.

Cylvia Hayes said the 1997 marriage took place when she was 30 and the man, identified by local media as being from Ethiopia, was 18, and both were attending Evergreen State College in Washington state.

“It was a marriage of convenience; he needed help and I needed support,” Hayes told reporters late on Thursday, wiping tears from her eyes as she spoke from downtown Portland. “I made a serious mistake by committing an illegal act.”

She said that Kitzhaber, a Democrat seeking re-election in November, did not know about the marriage until Wednesday. He was not present at Hayes’ announcement at her request, she said…

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