July 18th, 2013 11:58 pm | by Nigel Jaquiss and Aaron Mesh News | Posted In: PDX Votes, Multnomah County, Politics

Taxpayers Spent $2,238 To Send Jeff Cogen and Sonia Manhas to Atlanta Together

Cogen_5Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen

Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen and Sonia Manhas, a county health department employee, spent more than $2,238 in county funds on a 2012 trip to Atlanta, according to county records released tonight.

On Tuesday night, Cogen told WW the two were having an affair at the time they took the trip to a conference.

When Cogen and Manhas flew to Atlanta in on February 5, 2012, records show, they sat next to each other in the 12th row of US Air Flight 551. 

When they arrived at their hotel, Crown Plaza Hotel Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, Cogen checked into room 851 and Manhas—then the county Health Department's manager of community wellness and prevention—checked into room 842. A desk clerk at the hotel tells WW the rooms are across the hall from each other, about 20 steps apart.

Travel records the county released Thursday night to WW and other media in response to a public records requests show Manhas' travel expenses totaled $1,172 for the three-day Center for Disease Control's Communities Putting Prevention to Work conference. Cogen's charges totaled $1,066.

Cogen said on Tuesday night that both he and Manhas had legitimate professional reasons to travel to the Atlanta conference so he does not consider their expenditures an improper use of county funds.
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