The Fairmont City Council Monday night continued an old discussion about the investigation to determine whether any city employees knew of the former City Attorney’s cases that were expired due to the statute of limitations. The council had hired investigator Michelle Soldo to probe the matter, and she concluded that none of the city staff knew or should have known about the expiring cases, releasing her findings with “all relevant information” on Nov. 14. She later advised against interview transcripts due to additional cost, relevance and the witnesses’ concerns of retaliation.
But Councilor Tom Hawkins wanted transcripts of Soldo’s conversations with the four city staff members she interviewed. Council members hesitated at the cost of spending an additional $1,000 for the transcripts, in addition to the $10,500 already shelled out for the original investigation and legal costs.
Council Randy Lubenow made a motion asking for information that Hawkins and Mayor Deb Foster have, and Councilor Ruth Cyphers seconded it, adding that the motion should probably ask for the investigator’s transcripts. The motion passed by a 3-2 vote with Councilors Bruce Peters and Wayne Hasek dissenting.
That was the same vote result that came up in the designation of the council’s official newspaper. For years the official paper has been the Fairmont Sentinel but this year the Fairmont Photo Press was chosen.
The council did all agree to move ahead with plans to move forward with getting the state legislature to approve a local option sales of ½ per cent to be spent on the city’s street improvement program. This is the first step in the process of possibly getting a vote on the sales tax in this fall’s general election for Fairmont residents.