Citizens of Sleepy Eye, are you frustrated that the city will once again have to spend money to investigate City Councilor Larry Braun?

Citizens of Sleepy Eye, are you frustrated that the city will once again have to spend money to investigate City Councilor Larry Braun?

Well, your city council members are, too.

At Monday night’s meeting, the council members discussed, at length, if hiring an independent investigator was really necessary.

With the entire matter seeming to be a “he said, he said” thing, they weren’t sure what any investigator would turn up. After hashing it out, back and forth, they agreed that they don’t know what they don’t know — as in, what might be learned. They decided that hiring an independent third party investigator, rather than having a city employee investigate (the police department was suggested) would dispel any perceived bias.

Personally, I can’t imagine why any of them thought it would be okay to ask a city employee to conduct the investigation — not fair to the employee asked to do it, and not fair to the persons involved in the investigation. I am glad, despite the money issue, that the council voted to proceed with an independent investigator.

That doesn’t mean I am unconcerned about the cost of legal counsel and an investigator. My concern there is more along the lines of why?

Why is this happening again? Why did Larry Braun take it upon himself to talk to a city contractor about the services he sells to the city?

Braun said he simply wanted to have a conversation to relay complaints he’d received from city residents.

The city’s code of conduct — which was developed following previous allegations about Braun’s conduct towards city employees — makes it clear that the city manager (not city council members) has the duty and responsibility to manage and supervise all operations of the city.

If Braun would have limited his actions to asking to have the complaints about garbage service put on the agenda at a city council meeting (which he later did) this whole thing would not be an issue. The cost to the city would not be an issue.