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Commissioners call for investigation of Cogen's affair

The four Multnomah County commissioners are calling on the County Attorney to investigate Chair Jeff Cogen's affair with a county employee.

It's unclear how far such an investigation will go, however.

The commissioners call the affair "a personal matter for him to deal with on his own" in a joint statement released Wednesday.

And County Attorney Jenny Madkour has already advised Cogen his affair with health department official Sonia Manhas did not violate any laws or county policies.

The Portland Tribune called for an independent investigation of the affair in its July 18 issue.

The following is the statement released by commissioners Deborah Kafoury, Loretta Smith, Judy Shiprack and Diane McKeel:

“As the four independently elected county commissioners, we are certainly disappointed by Chair Cogen’s conduct. We consider much of the situation to be a personal matter for him to deal with on his own. However, there are significant questions to be answered with respect to the county’s business and to ensure that the standards of Multnomah County are upheld. We expect a sufficient inquiry by the County Attorney to provide answers for the people of Multnomah County. We remain committed to maintaining the county's vital services to our citizens and upholding the professional standards that the residents of Multnomah County have come to expect and deserve.”