PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is beginning a criminal investigation into the questions surrounding Multnomah County Commission Chairman Jeff Cogen, who admitted having an affair with the director of policy at the Multnomah County Health Department.
Cogen admitted having an affair with Sonia Manhas, who resigned earlier Wednesday. Multnomah County commissioners will introduce a resolution at Thursday's meeting asking Cogen to resign.
The resolution, released late Wednesday afternoon, said Cogen's inappropriate relationship with Manhas:
- "has diminished his ability to provide leadership"
- "caused the appearance of inappropriate influence"
- "is detrimental to the trust and confidence of the citizens" and
- has "caused significant concern in his ability to continue to serve as the senior elected official of Multnomah County"
They will ask Cogen to resign immediately.
Jeff Manning with the attorney general's office confirmed they were requested to do the investigation by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney.
The letter requesting the Attorney General's involvement from Multnomah County DA Rod Underhill said, in part:
"...Because of the close relationship between both of our offices and the Chair's office we have concluded, and you have concurred, that a law enforcement agency more removed from Multnomah County can best perform that task. Consequently, we are asking that the Attorney General's Office conduct the investigation into these matters."
The letter was signed by both Underhill and Multnomah County Sheriff Daniel Staton.
On Tuesday, the Multnomah County commissioners requested a civil investigation.
The AG's office said the investigation does not mean any criminal activity took place.
Update: Cogen has confessed to The Oregonian of another affair 16 years ago -- before this current affair landed him in hot water. Cogen told The Oregonian he plans to attend Thursday morning's regularly scheduled county board meeting. His colleagues are expected to vote on the resignation resolution at that meeting.
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