PORTLAND -- Marissa Madrigal was sworn in as the new Multnomah County Chair Tuesday morning at Multnomah County headquarters.

Madrigal replaces Jeff Cogen, who resigned earlier this month after admitting to an affair with a county employee. Cogen recommended Madrigal as his successor.

Background: Mult. Co. Chair Jeff Cogen resigns amid DOJ investigation

Madrigal had worked as Cogen s Chief of Staff and has been with Multnomah County for almost eight years. She said this move represents a fresh start for the county and is excited to get to work.

There's always going to be challenges, Madrigal said. The county has been around for 150 years and we've kept our work going through snowstorms and political shakeups and all kinds of things that can be disruptive. But we've got great employees and I know that we are all focused on moving forward. It feels right, it feels good.

Madrigal said her biggest priority will be the budget and continuing county projects, as well as helping people in Multnomah County.

Madrigal will serve as acting chair until the county holds a formal election for the position next May. Madrigal said she does not plan to run for Chair. Instead, she hopes to take on a position with the County HR Department.

Madrigal said she had accepted a position in project management prior to taking on the role as chair.

Commissioner Deborah Kafoury told KGW Tuesday that she intends to run for chair.

She said she has not decided when she will begin campaigning but when she does, Kafoury said she will be forced to quit her position as county commissioner.

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