Oregon State Archives 1-13-03 copy of website. This is *not* current information and hyperlinks may not work properly.
State of Oregon Seal
Governor's Office Links
Contact the Governor
Sharon Kitzhaber
News, Speeches, & Photos
Executive Appointments
Judicial Appointments and Executive Orders
Site Map

Office of the Governor
Judicial Appointments and Executive Orders

Office of the Legal Counsel to the Governor

Daniel P. Santos

Legal Counsel

Sean O’Day

Deputy Legal Counsel

Lorna Hobbs

Assistant to Legal Counsel

Duties of the Counsel to the Governor
Appointed by the Governor, the members of the Office of Legal Counsel serve as the legal advisors to the Governor and his staff and monitors legal issues related to the Governor, his staff, and all related State agency matters. The duties include assisting in matters such as:

  • Judicial Appointments
    Executive Orders
    Government-to-Government Relations and Indian Gaming
    Policy Advisor On Legal Issues Affecting the State

Judicial Appointments
Under Article IV of the Oregon Constitution, The Governor appoints vacancies in Circuit Court Judges, Court of Appeals Judges, Supreme Court Justices, Justice of the Peace, and District Attorneys. The Office of Legal Counsel reviews applications for vacant positions, conducts first-round interviews, and makes recommendations to the Governor for final interviews and selection.

Judicial Appointment Applications *
This form can not saved and must be printed out then mail or fax to us.

Executive Orders
Under Article 4 of the Oregon Constitution, the Governor has the power to issue Executive Orders. An Executive Order is a directive by the Governor. Typical orders include those that reorganize executive agencies, reassigns functions among executive agencies, establishes advisory bodies, study body, or task force, adopts guidelines, rules of conduct, or rules of procedure for State employees or units of State government, or proclaims or ends a state of emergency

Executive orders are published on the Governor’s website. Executive orders are numbered by year and chronological number, i.e., 01-01, 01-02. The first number (01) represents the year (2001), the second number, or dash numbers, represents the executive order’s chronological order.

Executive Orders Issued by Governor Kitzhaber

Government to Government Relations and Indian Gaming
Oregon has nine federally recognized tribes: including Burns Paiute, Coos, Coquille, Cow Creek, Grand Ronde, Klamath, Siletz, Umatilla, and Warm Springs. In May of 1996, Governor Kitzhaber signed Executive Order 96-30 which formalizes the relationship between the nine tribes and the State of Oregon. The Office of Legal Counsel addresses all tribal issues regarding economic development, education, human services, natural resources, public safety, and cultural development.

In addition, the Legal Counsel negotiates the federally recognized tribal gaming compacts and handles such issues as: gaming, land eligibility, site facilities, security, effects on the environment, transportation and roads, and community relations.

The Governor has the authority to grant commutations and pardons. However, the Governor believes that he should use his authority sparingly and only in the most extraordinary of circumstances. The Office of Legal Counsel Criteria considered includes: the rational for request; the crime and period of time since the crime; input from the District Attorney, the victim, the supporters, and the community; and the convicted has used all other options, including expungement. Governor Kitzhaber has granted four applications for executive clemency since Oregonians elected him to office in 1995.

Extraditions are a gubernatorial function by statute. Under Oregon law, extraditions are administered and funded by the state under the Arrest and Return Program. Guidelines for the Arrest & Return Program are established by the governor's office which administers the program for Oregon's 36 counties, Department of Corrections, Parole Board, Psychiatric Security Review Board and local supervisory authority boards. In order for an extradition to be funded by the Arrest & Return Program, it must comply with the guidelines and be approved by the governor's office.

Policy Advisor – liaison to agencies, stakeholders, and the community

The Legal Counsel is the liaison between the Governor and many agencies, including:
" The Department of Justice
" The Judicial Department
" Public Defender
" Oregon Lottery
" Oregon Liquor Control Commission
" Government Standards and Practices Commission
" Racing Commission

*Note: These files require the Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free.

State Capitol Building
900 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-4047
(503) 378-4582, 24 hours
(503) 378-4859, TTY
(503) 378-4863, FAX