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.
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.