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Sheriff, DA ask state to investigate Cogen affair

Oregon’s Department of Justice will begin a criminal investigation into the affair between Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen and county employee Sonia Manhas.

Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill and Sheriff Dan Staton requested the investigation Wednesday in a letter to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. The letter was released to the press at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

In their letter, Underhill and Staton wrote that “as presented to the public, the facts could lead some to question whether any Oregon criminal laws had been violated. Without expressing any opinion as to whether any criminal laws had been violated or not, we have concluded that an investigation to answer that question is warranted.

“It is important that any investigation be and is perceived to be completely fair and impartial.

“Because of the close relationship between both of our offices and the chair’s office, we have concluded that, and (Rosenblum) concurred, that a law enforcement agency more removed from Multnomah County can best perform that task.”

County officials have called a second press conference for 5 p.m. Wednesday.