This was originally posted at 10 am yesterday. It's been updated to reflect developments since then that culminated in the announcement this morning that Governor John Kitzhaber will step down next Wednesday.

What changed? Kitzhaber lost any shred of political support left—exhausting sympathy and goodwill among allies after deciding to resign and then backtracking so awkwardly, looking out of sorts in the process. And one by one yesterday, all of the people he needed to stand by, or at least keep quiet while investigations worked their way to completion, spoke up against him.

But that wasn't all. His office, in the midst of that sudden, new pressure, was accused of having tried to destroy thousands of the governor's personal emails the week before. A lot of this scandal, about ethics and influence peddling and trading on access and public prominence, had to do with his fiancée. His handling of the thing was in question—did he allow it or was he blind to it? But this one was all about Kitzhaber. And it was one more blow.

Get the rest of the story down below!

It's felt this way for months, since October, when Willamette Week first poked into disturbing ethical and legal issues about the blurry intersection between the private and public lives of Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancée, first lady Cylvia Hayes.

Every other week or so, some new, more troublesome development has bubbled up from the state's press corps in what's become a full-throated scandal threatening Kitzhaber's political future. Ostensibly, it's all because of accusations Hayes used her access and position as a public official to influence state policy and further her professional career as a well-paid environmental consultant. But in the wake of the clamor over Hayes' conduct, scrutiny has come crashing over Kitzhaber himself—with questions over whether he knew about Hayes' alleged lapses or even helped them along.

And it all took a turn for the surreal yesterday. Kitzhaber—facing probes by the attorney general's office, state ethics board, and, reportedly, the FBI—had seemingly set the wheels of resignation in motion. Secretary of State Kate Brown, Kitzhaber's would-be successor, had abruptly and mysteriously left the winter meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State, a group she leads as president, in Washington, DC. Rumor and whispers permeated the Capitol.

Until Kitzhaber, that is—according to the Oregonian and the Associated Press—changed his mind. Which is about when his attorney, and then the governor himself, gave statements suggesting he'd weather the storm a little while longer.

But let's say you haven't been keeping up with the unrelenting drip of news. And maybe you're still wondering what the hubbub's all about and how it took shape? Follow along and we'll do our best to help catch you up.

A conflict of interest: It started in October, a few weeks before Election Day. That's when WW's Nigel Jaquiss was first to plow what's become a fertile field of scandal, writing a cover story that accused Hayes of using state personnel and materials—while trading on her title as first lady and status as a public offiical—to run her personal consulting business. It was a story he'd been researching since the summer.

And though some tried to call it a trifle, it wasn't exactly: State law bars that kind of conduct: It's illegal to profit or benefit, or help others profit or benefit, from one's public job.

What's more, the paper reported, Hayes collected $85,000 in fees for consulting work that fell within her duties as first lady and also as an adviser to Kitzhaber. One of those contracts, with an outfit called Demos pushing something a new economic metric called a Genuine Progress Indicator, came after Kitzhaber joined her at a conference in Bhutan. That contract, as you'll see later, will start to look even more suspect as other issues emerge.

WW also noted, a few days later, that Kitzhaber's office allowed Hayes to push back against rules meant to better and more forcibly divide her two roles.

Sideshow detours: More people started paying attention after Jaquiss broke the news that Hayes had been editing a college-age green card marriage out of her backstory, which would have been a federal crime if the statute of limitations hadn't expired. That was followed by reports that Hayes and an old boyfriend had once rented some property with the hope of growing pot.

More blurring: In December, a batch of documents requested by the Oregonian and other outlets turned up more examples of Hayes using state materials and staffers to do her consulting work. It also showed Hayes receiving state reimbursements for expenses incurred while conducting private busienss.

Bigger trouble mounts: The scandal simmered over the holidays. In January, days before the governor's inauguration, Jaquiss reported on a 2013 consulting trip that Hayes took to Seattle, paid for by taxpayers. Hillary Borrud, working for the EO Media/Pamplin statehouse bureau, wrote a piece about the same time tracing how Hayes spent years using her access, as an official and adviser in Kitzhaber's office, to learn about the ocean issues that served as the basis of that 2013 consulting trip.

Then it starts exploding: Borrud kicked off the latest and most damaging chapter of the scandal on January 27, reporting that Hayes had earned a previously undisclosed $118,000 in pay from a nonprofit what was working on issues Hayes also had been working on as a gubernatorial adviser. Hayes was paid by Clean Economy Development Center from 2011-2012.

Hayes apparently never listed the 2012 pay on her tax returns. Kitzhaber never listed the income from that murky work on his state conflict of interest disclosure forms, insisting it wasn't conflict—and later waffled on whether he considered Hayes, his live-in fiancée, a member of his household.

And exploding: A week later, the O dropped some revelations deep enough that the paper's edit board issued a nationally rattling call for Kitzhaber to step down. Two of Kitzhaber's associates had helped Hayes secure some of the contracts at the center of the scandal—including the Clean Economy Development Center work. Hayes was selected, in part, because of her ability to influence state policy—which could amount to a breach of ethics laws if she's found to have used her position for financial gain.

Worse, it was reported that Kitzhaber later hired both men into well-paid jobs within his administration. Kitzhaber told the O it was "possible" he mentioned Hayes had been looking for work way back when.

The picture continues to sharpen: Then, by the end of last week, emails released from a separate state department—not the governor's office, which has been slow to produce documents requested months ago—showed starkly that Hayes had been in charge of implementing a new state policy that she also was being paid privately to push.

It was the Demos contract first reported by WW. And the O said it "erased any doubt" Hayes was blurring her roles. They emails, from April 2013 to April 2014, show Hayes calling meetings like a colleague and an official, and also ordering high-level state employees to appear. Hayes also got the state to hire a Demos employee to oversee the project it was paying her to promote—with Kitzhaber personally making entreaties after other officials insisted the hiring ought to be treated like any other. Demos issued a statement saying it shouldn't have trusted Hayes to manage which hat she was wearing and when.

WW, in reporting on the emails the next morning, highlighted Kitzhaber's influence and support for the Demos project, which benefited Hayes and, presumably by extension, her fiancé, the governor. Jaquiss reported that Demos officials told him Kitzhaber's presence on the Bhutan trip was an important factor in Hayes' selection.

Since then, the attorney general has opened a criminal probe into the governor—something made public this week after Kitzhaber sought a more limited factual review. Kitzhaber's not Chris Christie or Rod Blagojevich. But he's caught the nation's attention—even the NYT with its talk of "Kitzhaber fatigue"—and a lot of people have been comparing him to Virginia's jailed ex-governor, Bob McDonnell.

For now, that state criminal probe's the big show, overshadowing at times the legislative session that's also begun this month. And the governor seems to have decided—for now—that he'll stick things out while we all wait for the next shoe to drop.

Update 12:42 PM, Friday: He's out.Turns out, a few more shoes have dropped. Kitzhaber's waffling earlier in the week seemed to have convinced legislative leaders and others in state government that it was time for him to step down.

That cold truth was delivered publicly first by Secretary of State Kate Brown, who will take over as governor next week, issued a searingly awkward press release yesterday all but accusing the governor of instability. She said Kitzhaber had beckoned her back to Oregon from Washington DC for a meeting to talk about his recognition, only to bewilderingly be asked, when they met, why she'd flown home. She called the meeting "bizarre."

House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney had met with Kitzhaber yesterday morning to tell him privately he should quit—eventually making their own public statements after Brown sent her statement, followed by State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. The national feeding frenzy only intensified—with the governor in the Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the network news' sites, etc.

Kitzhaber might have held on—even though he'd been totally abandoned and waylaid politically, something that would have emboldened Republicans and been a continuing, hobbling distraction for legislative business this session—if he'd felt righteous and stubborn enough.

For one thing, most of the scandals findings centered on Hayes' conduct and Hayes' business. The fact that she and the governor shared a home certainly mucked that up—to some degree, if she profited from her state position, so did he. Whether he was ignorant, incompetent, or complicit while those lines blurred. (He did find jobs for campaign associates who helped her land those contracts, something I suppose he might have done for those aides even if they hadn't helped Hayes.) And governors in other states have valiantly held on through criminal and ethics probes, sometimes multiple probes, and even through impeachment proceedings.

Oregon, interestingly enough, has no impeachment provisions. And a recall would have had to wait until the summer, because of state rules that give elected official six months to start a term before an ouster campaign can start.

But then something else emerged last night that falls right on Kitzhaber. His office asked to have thousands of his personal emails, some of which may have dealt with state business, making them public records, purged from state servers. Those emails were sought by the Oregonian. But beyond their value as public records, the emails also may have been evidence in the ongoing probes. State law also makes it a crime to destroy those records.

WW, which broke that story, noted that state employees in the Department of Administrative Services prudently refused. That story, even after Brown's statement hobbled Kitzhaber, changed everything again. He looked guilty, like he had something to hide... even if his office had a weak-sounding explanation. It also meant the furor wouldn't die down.

And he decided that was no way to run a state. He also might have realized that a resignation in these circumstances wasn't much of a bargaining chip when it came to staying prosecutors' hands.