Secretary Fagan Resigns

 The Secretary of State’s Office Will Not Experience Any Disruption in Operations During the Transition

Salem, OR—Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers will assume the title of Acting Secretary of State today, May 9, at 1:00 PM when Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s resignation occurs.  

Governor Tina Kotek will appoint a new Secretary of State to complete the remainder of Secretary Fagan’s term.  

The Secretary of State’s office will not experience any interruption in its operations during the transition. Below are statements from Acting Secretary of State Myers, Elections Director Molly Woon and Audits Director Kip Memmott.  

The following is a statement from Acting Secretary of State Cheryl Myers:  

“Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s actions put this agency in a difficult position. I believe she made the right decision by resigning. The professional staff at the Secretary of State’s office will continue serving Oregonians through the Elections Division, Audits Division, State Archives and Corporation Division. We do not expect any interruptions in service during the transition. 

“This is a resilient agency, with strong division leadership and internal systems that can withstand change. We are ready to continue the important work of the Secretary of State’s office during this transition. 

“While I already possess the same authorities as the Secretary from when originally sworn in as Deputy SoS, I am not an elected official. Since January 2021, my role has been to manage the directors of the Elections, Audits, Archives, Corporation and internal divisions, with a focus on helping them serve Oregonians. That’s what I’ll continue to do through this transition. 

"At this time, Acting Secretary Myers is focused on supporting staff through this transition.”  

The following is a statement from Elections Director Molly Woon:  

“The Elections Division is assisting and supporting Oregon’s 36 county clerks and election administrators during this regularly scheduled Special District Election. The Secretary’s resignation has no bearing on our team’s ability to provide centralized services and support county operations. We will continue to provide exceptional service and encourage all voters to make their voices heard in the May 16th elections.”  

The Secretary of State is not the filing officer for any May 2023 contests and does not certify this election as in even numbered years. 

The following is a statement from Audits Director Kip Memmott:  

“Secretary Fagan’s actions have cast a shadow over the good work of the Oregon Audits Division, and I join Acting Secretary Myers in agreeing with the Secretary’s decision to resign. It’s the best way for the agency to move forward. 

“Soon, an independent, third-party review of our audit work, requested by the Governor’s Office, will show we operated in full compliance with Government Auditing Standards and demonstrated our commitment to accountability, integrity and reliability. I look forward to that validation as we begin to restore the trust that is necessary to the work we do as auditors. 

"I want to personally say I stand behind my staff and the work completed in our audit of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. From the origin of the idea to audit OLCC up until the report release last week, the Oregon Audits Division followed government auditing standards and procedures every step of the way, as we always do."