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Cogen Gets More Questions, Criticism About Affair

Multnomah County chair Jeff Cogen heard from critics Thursday, a week after his fellow commissioners supported a measure calling for him to resign.

Jeff Cogen

Jeff Cogen

Michael Clapp/OPB

Cogen has been embroiled in controversy since he admitted to a lengthy affair with a county health official, who later had to resign.

Portland activist Joe Walsh told Cogen that he should leave office - and not force voters to gather signatures for a recall.

“I don’t like recalls - I like men that stand up and say ‘I screwed up, I must resign, I’ll see you in a couple years, and I will lay my reputation that I patched up on the line - let you vote for it.’ You are dragging me and these commissioners down into your mud - and I resent that,” Walsh said.

A representative of KATU news asked Cogen when he would answer media questions. Cogen said he would discuss county business, but not the affair - because it is now the subject of a criminal investigation.

County officials say they’re holding off on releasing public records about the affair, at the request of the Oregon Attorney General. 

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