Head of Multnomah County health department resigns

PORTLAND, Ore. - After 14 years as the head of the Multnomah County Health Department, Lillian Shirley announced her resignation Wednesday.

She is leaving to become the state's public health director. Her title will be director of the public health division of the Oregon Health Authority. There, she will oversee some 700 employees and a budget of about $500 million.

Shirley has made news twice this year for things having nothing to do with her job.

First, police were called to her home when she had an altercation with her husband.

Then, one of her top aides – Sonia Manhas – had an affair with County Chairman Jeff Cogen – her boss.

As the county's chief health officer, she developed a national reputation for the department because of her focus on issues like tobacco use and obesity.