The Fairmont City Council met Monday for the sole purpose of selecting a new investigator to delve into city staff’s awareness of criminal cases allowed to expire under the statute of limitations during the tenure of former City Attorney Elizabeth Bloomquist.

The investigator also will identify any individuals officially involved in the matter and the extent of the involvement and awareness from January 2012 to May 2019.

The firm selected by the council at its Sept. 23 meeting — Jardine Logan and O’Brien — was unable to start an investigation until November, and Councilor Tom Hawkins and Mayor Debbie Foster, who have been working with the city’s interim legal counsel, Flaherty & Hood, in the matter, believed that the delay was too long.

Councilor Bruce Peters moved to hire Michelle Soldo of Soldo Consulting at $155 per hour, the lowest hourly rate of the four suggested firms, and Councilor Wayne Hasek seconded the motion, but Peters and Hasek both voted against their motion, which passed by a 3-2 vote with Hawkins, Lubenow and Ruth Cyphers supporting the Soldo hiring.

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