PORTLAND --On Thursday, Jeff Cogen failed to show up for what would have been his last board meeting as head of Multnomah County.
In July, Cogen publicly admitted to having an affair with county health-policy adviser Sonia Manhas. At the request of the county district attorney and sheriff’s office, the State Department of Justice launched an investigation of into possible abuses of office by Cogen.
On July 24, Manhas resigned citing pressure by colleagues and superiors as reason.
Cogen weathered calls by County Commissioners for his resignation and maintained that he would be cleared of the state investigation and in August hired high powered attorney Janet Lee Hoffman to defend him. He resigned a month later.
Cogen’s resignation set a complex political succession process into motion. Starting next week, Cogen’s former chief of Staff Marrissa Madrigal will serve as interim chair until the May 2014 primary election. County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, daughter of former County Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury, said she will run for chair, but has not indicated when.
On Thursday, commissioners conducted business as usual.
Kafoury said she's looking forward to putting the past few months behind her.
“It's been really tough,” Kafoury said. “There's been a lot of choas, it’s been tumultuous. Good work got overshadowed by something we have no control over.”
Commissioner Diane Mckeel said she is also thinking about running.
READ MORE: Timeline of the Jeff Cogen affair