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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Font of Cogen/Manhas Documents Has Dried, For Now

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Since Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen admitted to an extramarital affair with a county employee several weeks back, county communications staff have been pretty forthcoming with records (though we're still eagerly awaiting those text messages).

To the county's additional credit, they've hardly been sterile documents. They suggested Manhas had free and ready access to the county's top official, and could rely on him to back her in potential conflicts with her actual supervisor, Health Director Lillian Shirley. They led to questions about a business trip Cogen took to Atlanta that eventually led him to admit Manhas had come along for the ride. And, most recently, they spurred a revelation Cogen saved funding for the county office Manhas controlled. It had been in jeopardy.

For now, though—and conveniently for Cogen—those documents have dried up. County Spokesman Dave Austin just sent out a release, giving media a heads up the county wouldn't be releasing any more records on the Cogen/Manhas affair, pending an Oregon Department of Justice investigation launched at the behest of District Attorney Rod Underhill.

"We will not be processing these request from the media or the public until the investigation is over in order to comply with the Attorney General's request," Austin writes.

Here's the letter from Attorney General's Office that's given the county this loophole.

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