The Jordan City Council authorized the investigation of a council member’s conduct by an outside attorney Tuesday night, following an employee complaint filed on Aug. 16.
This marks the second investigation of a city council member in the last six months. Councilman Jeff Will was the subject of a Personnel Committee investigation in March after city attorneys reviewed a complaint of “abusive communication” from a city employee.
The council did not disclose the identity Tuesday of the council member currently under investigation. Unlike the March complaint, outside counsel is being pursued for this investigation.
“We’re tying to avoid conflict of interest,” councilman Terry Stier said. “There’s other people that might be asked to answer questions that could do the investigation, but can’t.”
Mayor Tanya Velishek, who filed for a restraining order against Will in August, recused herself from the personnel committee due to matters pertaining to the investigation.
“I absolutely have no connection with this complaint and the investigation, with council member or myself,” Velishek said. “So I’m recusing myself from the decision or any vote to ensure there is no question there is a conflict of interest.”
Under the public comment section of the meeting, former councilman Thom Boncher raised questions regarding the timing of the agenda item being included on the meeting following Labor Day weekend. The agenda, as per usual, was released the Friday before the meeting.
“Is it a coincidence that this agenda item was brought to the council on holiday weekend, effectively lessening council’s time to consider the merits of the agenda item?” Boncher said.
Councilman Robert Whipps assured Boncher that the council was given notice of the issue last week and had proper time to process the information.
The city will contract with Madden, Galanter Hansen LLP, a Bloomington law firm, at a rate of $180 per hour — the lowest of three bids obtained by city staff. Whipps requested that the firm complete the investigation at a reasonable rate and provide the city council with their findings.
The council voted 5-0 to authorize the investigation, with Velishek abstaining and Will absent.