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New Miss Oregon's in-state residency questioned by competition

Miss Oregon USA 2018 Toneata Morgan appears on AMNW - KATU image

The Miss Oregon USA pageant is being questioned after rumors surfaced that the woman recently crowned pageant winner is a California resident.

Toneata Morgan was crowned Miss Oregon USA 2018 over the weekend. In the last two days, a petition has started to investigate Morgan's residency even calling on pageant officials to re-do the pageant.

“It became aware to me and other contestants that her residency and her eligibility were suspicious,” said Stephanie Matheson, who also competed representing Portland.

Matheson said she was shocked to learn Morgan may not actually be an Oregon resident.

“I think it’s important that we all feel validated that it was a fair competition,” Matheson said.

Morgan has competed in four Miss California competitions, most recently in December 2016. She also attends college in California and openly admits to growing up in California.

On Monday, Morgan sat down with KATU’s Helen Raptis on AM Northwest. She was asked where she's from.

“You grew up in California?” Raptis asked.

“Yes, but I've been living here for over a year now,” Morgan said.

According to a GoFundMe page and other sites, Morgan is based in California.

“It was brought to light and it should be looked into,” Matheson said.

NW Productions manages the Miss Oregon pageant and says Morgan followed all the rules.

“According to the rules, if a contestant can provide two residency documents, then they are allowed to compete,” co-executive producer of NW Productions Maureen Francisco said.

“Did she provide the two pieces of documents? Correct. Were they 6 months before the pageant? Correct,” Francisco continued.

Back in 2012, Miss Oregon from the Miss America system stepped down after she was ultimately not able to prove her residency. Matheson says, she did the right thing.

“If you can’t prove your residency, and you can’t prove you legally and fairly competed, then I think it would be the mature and responsible thing for the individual to step down,” Matheson said.

KATU News reached out to Morgan for an on camera interview but she was unavailable. She did, however, reiterate that she is living in Oregon and has been for a year with her grandparents.

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