Four members of the Multnomah County Commissioner this afternoon asked today for an outside investigation of their colleague, County Chair Jeff Cogen.
At issue is whether Cogen, county chair since 2010, misused county resources or the power of his office when conducting a nearly two-year-long affair with a county employee named Sonia Manhas.
The request, contained in a letter written by the four members—Commmissioners Deborah Kafoury, Diane McKeel, Judy Shiprack and Loretta Smith—is a ill omen for Cogen, who broke a week-long silence today to do an interview with KGW's Laural Porter.
As WW reported this afternoon, the original story Cogen told reporters one week ago continues to change.
"As a result of the county attorney's initial inquiry and after consulting with Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, we, the Multnomah County Commissioners will be asking for an outside investigation. The investigation will seek to determine whether Jeff Cogen misused county funds or other county resources. Additionally, this investigation will seek to determine whether any county personnel rules were violated by chair Cogen. We want to assure the people of Multnomah County that the chair's actions are being thoroughly examined. This investigation will allow the county to continue moving forward in its mission—to serve the most vulnerable populations in our community."
Options for conducting the investigation would include Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum or an independent third party.