North Branch Council revisits investigation authorization in special session February 7
The North Branch City Council called a special session Tuesday February 7 to act on a request from their city attorney firm related to a work investigation approved at the end of January. There was a memo provided explaining why the firm is expanding the scope, but the legal counsel recommended to keep it confidential. Nobody was allowed to question details or reveal advice specifically. Mayor Scheiber said all information being shared is under “data practices” restrictions and the council must avoid any inadvertent exposure of legal communications.
Council member Peter Schaps was the lone no vote on a motion to expand the scope, basically allowing a “conflict” investigator to be added to the investigative effort in the event the prime investigator is unable to pursue any issue.
Although she ultimately supported the motion, Council member Kelly Neider declared this has the potential to be “embarrassing” to the city and pile up expenses.
The city attorney’s representative assured council the conflict investigator isn’t going to add any cost and will be working concurrently within the investigation only as needed. Council member Peter Schaps said he was confused and thought sufficient action was taken allowing the investigation to get underway when council voted in the January 24 session.