The fiancée of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber once bought land to grow a marijuana garden with a now-ex-boyfriend, a Portland news station reported in October.

John Kitzhaber and Cylvia HayesCylvia Hayes, who is engaged to Kitzhaber, put a $15,000 down payment on a $245,000 property she and her boyfriend wanted to buy in Washington. But after taking possession in November 1997, the couple stopped paying the mortgage and eventually abandoned the site near the Canadian border.

The owner, who reclaimed the land, said he found evidence of a cannabis grow. That included weed trimmings in an upstairs bedroom and a makeshift irrigation system, though Patrick Siemion, the real estate agent who sold the property, acknowledged there were no signs of a successful crop.

When the story of her involvement broke Oct. 14, Hayes said she “intended” to grow weed on the site but never carried out the plan. She abandoned her stake in the property in April 1998, she said.

Hayes blamed the incident on her boyfriend, who she said abused her throughout their relationship. Media outlets reported the boyfriend has a history of domestic violence.

“I was associating with the wrong kind of people and making mistakes,” Hayes said. “I am not proud of that brief period of time. I was involved in an abusive relationship with a dangerous man. We lived together for several months on the property in Okanogan that was intended to be the site of a grow operation that never materialized. I was never financially involved with it. I did not pay any part of the down payment or mortgage payments. I had no money.”

Siemion doesn’t buy Hayes’ explanation. When the couple showed up to buy the land, he said, “there was somewhat of a leader/follower there, and she was leading and the gentleman was following.”

growing marijuana plantsAnd Siemion said there was too much evidence of cultivation to support the claim that they never got started.

“If she ‘intended’ it to be a marijuana grow, then why did we find cuttings all over the pool table where they were cutting it?” He said he also saw fertilizer on the property.

The news comes shortly after Hayes admitted she was paid $5,000 to enter into a sham marriage with an immigrant, Abraham Abraham, who needed a green card.

About the Author: Matt Brooks

Matt is a journalist from San Francisco who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than six years.

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