Cogen absent; Kafoury may run for chair

Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen's chair, July 17, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen's chair, July 17, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County Board Chair Jeff Cogen’s last day will be Monday but he was noticeably absent from Tuesday’s county commissioner meeting.

It’s the first meeting since he announced his resignation on Friday and weeks after the other four commissioners tried to vote him out of office.

Vice-Chair Judy Shiprack sat in Cogen’s usual seat. About a moment later, Marissa Madrigal, Cogen’s chief of staff andas of next Tuesday his replacement, sat in the front row.

Marissa Madrigal, Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

Marissa Madrigal, Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

District 1 Commissioner Deborah Kafoury told KOIN 6 News Tuesday she is excited to see the county moving on and will likely be running for Cogen’s seat.

Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury speaks on the resolution asking Chairman Jeff Cogen to resign, July 25, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury speaks on the resolution asking Chairman Jeff Cogen to resign, July 25, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

It was obvious Cogen was missing and it may have appeared as though he already signed out. Cogen turned in the appropriate paperwork to excuse himself from this meeting. KOIN 6 News learned Cogen has also dismissed himself from Thursday’s meeting but is doing work at county headquarters.

County spokesman Dave Austin also told KOIN 6 News Cogen is doing a lot of internal work, coordinating priorities with department managers and the county’s chief operating officer.

Cogen said he was on a conference call with local hospital officials trying to get more mental health beds during the commission meeting.

“We’re working together to make this a smooth transition,” said Madrigal.

Over the following days Cogen will also be trying to tie down veteran services and homeless issues that Madrigal will have to follow.

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