Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Lawyer Details Plan for MLGW Investigation

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Attorney Saul Belz, who is leading the independent investigation of MLGW, detailed his plan, and its progress for the Flyer.

City councilman Tom Marshall, in his capacity as chairman, and the city attorney’s office contacted Belz, a member of the Glankler Brown firm, on February 23rd to gauge his interest in conducting the investigation. Glankler Brown has a general contract with the city.

Belz and Oscar Carr met with Marshall February 26, and were officially engaged by the city the next day.

“We began conducting interviews on Friday 2nd of March and then again on Monday the 5th of March,” says Belz. “We have currently interviewed eight former or current MLGW employees at all levels—executive, and clerical, and people who were involved in handling the accounts in question.”

The investigation team has requested two sets of documents from MLGW, and will continue the interview process.

“We also intend to interview Mr. Lee. We’re going to contact Herman Morris, and see if he’ll let us interview him,” says Belz. “We’ll also contact the city council secretary to set up interviews with members of the MLGW committee, who have been involved with MLGW for the last five years.”

Carr has begun a trial in circuit court, so the investigators now include Belz, Jonathan Hancock, Don Hearn, and Kendra Tidwell. The team plans a quick resolution to the first phase of the investigation.

“We’re going to try to have something ready for the council on our factual conclusions at the next council meeting [March 20],” Belz says.

Belz explains that the second phase of the investigation may require more time.

“We were retained not only to draw factual conclusions, but also to try to give some suggestions in the event that we found that there were certain procedures that hadn’t been followed properly,” he says. “We have advised the council that while we thought that we could get them a result on our factual conclusions, the portion of the report that dealt with future policy changes… would probably take a little longer.” Belz has been recognized as a leading business attorney, specializing in commercial litigation.

— Preston Lauterbach

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