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Cap Cost In Place For Special Counsel

POSTED September 13, 2011 9:11 p.m.

Following a closed session as part of a special Monday night meeting, Sept. 12, Oakdale City Council members reported that they are taking action to investigate perceived impropriety involving city employees. Interim City Manager Gregory Wellman made the report after closed session on Tuesday night. He said that “absolutely no conclusions have been reached” regarding any allegations. However, the council directed Wellman to investigate concerns raised regarding the business venture between Vizina, Hallam, Hallinan and West.
“The cursory review will focus on current city employees,” Wellman said.
Hallam is the only member of the group not currently working for the city; he is a former city manager for Oakdale, let go earlier this year.
The cost of the investigation will be capped at $15,000, and Wellman said that no expenditures over that amount could be made without council’s approval.
Mayor Pat Paul confirmed that Meyers Nave law firm would be hired to do a small scope investigation of the involvement of city employees in the business venture and whether there was any wrongdoing on the part of any city employee.
“We are doing this as a courtesy to the citizens of Oakdale. Some issues were raised and we could not sweep this under the rug, that didn’t seem right,” Paul said.
Paul said that the council chose to skip the public employee performance evaluation of City Attorney Tom Hallinan, which was included in the agenda as an addendum. She said that Hallinan has never had a performance review and should eventually have one, but that the timing did not seem right at Tuesday’s meeting.  Wellman confirmed that no discussion was made of Hallinan’s performance.
“There will be no change in the current status of the city attorney,” Wellman said.

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