Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Law Firm With An Interesting Connection To Charlotte Nets $214,000.00 For Work On Eschert Case

Remember that Fire Truck that Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan wanted to buy and hoped the 2016 budget would include?

Well fellow taxpayers here's why money was an issue in the first place.

A local television station reported recently that:

"an outside investigation into retaliation claims will cost the city of Charlotte more than $200,000.

Former arson investigator Crystal Eschert claimed she was fired after raising concerns about safety in a fire department building.The city claimed Eschert was fired over posts she made on Facebook and hired outside attorney Allison Van Laningham to investigate the claims.

Van Laningham’s report found no direct evidence, but that it was possible Eschert was the subject of retaliation.

A few weeks earlier the same station reported "that the city announced changes to improve the Charlotte Fire Department after another review found low morale and a culture of fear in the department.

Over the next 6-8 months, an advisory committee will implement a performance evaluation for managers, enhance communication in the department and develop a survey to get employee fee

A copy of the invoice that runs just over $214,000.00 is here.

City Manager Ron Carlee hasn't released the report but the invoice give a hint at where the investigation was headed.

Interesting to note that the Greensboro attorney Van Laningham bills at a $300.00 per hour rate even while traveling to and from Charlotte in additional to a 57 cents mileage rate.

So lets have a little "flash back":

 You might recall CP's post about connecting the dots (Nothing Showing) back in February.
The newest public information officer (PIO) for Charlotte Fire Department, Cynthia Robbins Shan-Kahn just happens to be the wife of former senior assistant City of Charlotte attorney, Mujeeb Shan-Kahn. She was hired by the Fire Department just last month.
Cynthia Robbins Shan-Kahn
Attorney Mujeeb Shan-Kahn worked for Charlotte and was hired as Greensboro's city attorney in 2012, and is now in a city attorney of Monroe, North Carolina. 
Interestingly enough, during Shan-Khan's ever so brief tenure in Greensboro he apparently hired Allison Van Laningham to help the Greensboro Police Department defend against and settle a number of lawsuits involving current and former police officers.

The payments to Van Laningham from the City of Greensboro has been reported to be just shy of $400,000.00. 

Shan-Khan's time at Greensboro came to an abrupt end after a 90 minute emergency closed door council meeting in which he tendered his resignation. At question was the issuing of a $750,000.00 city check without a signed contract.
Shan-Khan found work before his severance package expired by taking the City Attorney job in Monroe.
Keep in mind the Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee said the investigation into Crystal Eschert's claims would be transparent and be conducted by outside sources.
Cedar's Take: If it walks like a duck, well just hard to believe Van Laningham - Shan-Kahn - Charlotte Fire PIO connection is just an odd coincidence. Particularly when Van Laningham's experience is limited to trial ligation.


Anonymous said...

I forgot-- What was that unauthorized $750,000 check Shah-Kahn signed for and to whom did it go?

He was the same kind of person in every attorney position here in Charlotte. Unethical. Covered up his own and others' unethical and/or illegal acts.

What happened with that money & how did Monroe decide to hire him?
Did the NC Bar Association review the matter? If so, don't they have a problem with signing off on 3/4 of a $million without authorization, especially with someone who has fiduciary responsibility for a City?

And, why hasn't Carlee released the full report from Van Landingham? Are you asking for it? Is anyone else? WE PAID for it! Outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Ok, it's time for heads to roll. Our city is tapped for money, except for when it comes to streetcars, lawyers, and hiring fellow church members for DSS positions. The should be the last straw in Ron Carlee's bag of tricks. Time to cut out losses, and start thinking about how this type of money could have helped the community.
Wasteful during a time when the city can barely scrape enough money together to buy a new shiny streetcar.

Anonymous said...

Another $15,000.00 was just spent on an outside lawyer to advise city on police shooting trial. The city has lawyers but yet they continue to hire outside.

Anonymous said...

Wait you forgot the city of Charlotte is funding a "Southpark" attorney for Jon Hannan and the fire dept. She has been around a lot longer then the Greensboro one. So wonder how much her bill is so far? Cedar posted on her awhile back too.

Anonymous said...

Just insane waste of tax dollars, that could be used to give CMPD boots on the street a pay raise.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Gordon promoted from training to deputy chief. But I'm hearing he was head of training for female employees with CFD. He did the head of training at lovers lane at the airport. So the Hannan Animal House meets Porky's. These are nothing but a bunch of male pigs. Wonder how many others are running around in wives and girlfriends

Mechelle Price said...

To the "anonymous" person who left the above comment:

If I am the person you are referring to that Kevin Gordon "did" you may want to check your facts - I can assure you that NEVER happened. All Kevin Gordon did to me was make my life a living hell at work every day while I was fighting breast cancer until I finally resigned. I filed a grievance against him which was never acknowledged and I will continue to try and make someone realize how I was treated and the things he did. His promotion is just another example of CFD bad behavior being rewarded. It always amazes me how people can say things like you did above about him doing the head of training and you post your comments as anonymous. I am posting this comment with my name because I lived the hell of working for Kevin Gordon and will be more than happy to tell you "anonymous" exactly what I was put through and what kind of person he is so if you have any questions let me know!!

Mechelle Price

Anonymous said...


Mechelle Price said...

????? do you have some questions you would like me to answer for you? If so ask away!


Chip Starr said...

Mechelle - sounds like there is a pattern, your not the first person I've heard this sort of story from, but there is a pattern. Why don't you email us at cedarposts@gmail.com ?

Mechelle Price said...

Cedar post - I just saw this and have emailed you

Anonymous said...

Dont throw rocks, Ms. Price, when you live in a glass house. You have a checked past (very experienced in "back seat of cars" and "in closets with co-workers"). Remember Fleet Net and Gaston College? So, pipe down, go on a diet, and get a job!!!

Mechelle Price said...

I have a job and don't need to be on a diet again another anonymous person I'm the only one that can put my name how about you post your name. Not sure what you are referring to but easy to be brave hiding behind no names - who are you talking about

Anonymous said...