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Four Multnomah County Commissioners Seek Cogen's Resignation

Four Multnomah County commissioners voted in favor of a resolution Thursday calling on county chair Jeff Cogen to resign. But it failed with Cogen opposing it.

Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen.

Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen.

Michael Clapp/OPB

It was Cogen’s first public meeting since he admitted last week to having a lengthy affair with health policy director Sonia Manhas. Cogen wasn’t Manhas’ supervisor, but the two emailed throughout their affair about both policy and personal matters.

Commissioner Loretta Smith voted for Cogen to resign, saying, “Will we be able to conduct the people’s business, while under the cloud of suspicion, doubt, and anger?”

Public testimony favored Cogen staying on the job, at least until a state investigation runs its course.

Ted Blazak turned the resolution against the commissioners.

“I hope and I pray that there is not political motivation here, that somebody doesn’t want his job - and that that might be a big force behind this resolution,” Blazak said.

The non-binding resolution needed a unanimous vote to pass, and Cogen voted against, so it failed.

Sonia Manhas has resigned and says county officials forced her out.

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