While the city council has still not divulged any details about the ongoingthey did discuss what the ordeal has cost the city so far during last week’s council meeting. The council expects the total bill for the investigation to be around $280,431 by the end of this month.
The city has already paid $178,897 in legal bills since the start of the investigation four months ago. They will need to pay a January legal bill of $76,533 by the end of this month and expect the February bill to be around $25,000, according to corporation counsel Kristen Wilson.
The council decided not to transfer the $77,000 from the contingency account to fund the January legal bill until they had an estimate on the February bill so that they could transfer it all in one lump sum, rather than “piecemeal.”
The council also considered a resolution to pay for legal services for city employees who have been requested to participate in the council investigation of the Rye Golf Club. Investigators have already begun interviews with city staff.
Kristen Wilson said the council is not obligated to pay for the employees’ attorneys and warned the council that if they decided to pay for these fees, they should do so in a very limited way and that there could be a “slippery slope.”
No one made a motion to approve this resolution.
“When this is all over…I think we should sit down with the city staff and talk about the reasons for this investigation and maybe reassure staff we really don’t intend to target staff or suspect staff of wrongdoing,” said Councilwoman Laura Brett. “The reasons these staff members have been asked to talk to our investigator is because they witnessed some of the conduct that is being investigated…We are not looking to catch people we are just looking to make sure we understand what went wrong at the Rye Golf Club.”