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No comment on Cogen, says Multnomah County Commission

The members of the Multnomah County Commission are refusing to comment on the Oregon Department of Justice report on its investigation into former Chair Jeff Cogen.

All five members of the commission released a joint statement Sunday saying they will not answer questions about the issues raised in the report, including whether his relationship with former county health department manager Sonia Manhas affected county business.

Manhas also told investigators that Cogen smoked marijuana before attending public events, and that he also used cocaine and ecstacy.

The department decided against filing criminal charges against Cogan or Manhas for any of their activities discussed in the report.

Cogen resigned before the report was released and has been replaced by his former chief of staff, Marissa Madrigal, as provided for in the County Charter. Commissioner Deborah Kafoury has resigned to run for Cogen's seat next year, as required by the charter. She has been replaced by her former chief of staff, Liesl Wendt.

The joint statement reads as follows:

"The Oregon Department of Justice investigation of Jeff Cogen is over. It is clear from the report that Multnomah County employees cooperated fully with investigators, as was requested of them. Any remaining questions should be directed to either investigators or the two people responsible for this situation: Jeff Cogen and Sonia Manhas, neither of whom are county employees anymore. We’re happy to talk about the great work our employees do helping seniors, people struggling with mental health issues, veterans, children, the homeless and other vulnerable populations. But we won’t be commenting any further on the subject of Jeff Cogen's behavior."

Chair Marissa Madrigal

Commissioner Liesl Wendt, District 1

Commissioner Loretta Smith, District 2

Commissioner Judy Shiprack, District 3

Commissioner Diane McKeel, District 4