The Joliet City Council has voted to hire a legal firm to investigate themselves. An outside firm has been hired for an ethics probe into Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and Councilwoman Jan Quillman following a false accusation of drunkenness of a Joliet Police officer. The vote was 5-2 as Quillman was excused from voting as she is named in the investigation. The Professional Services Agreement for Legal Representation related to ethics investigation and related matters had Quillman seeking to protect her own reputation as she spoke with Corporation Counsel Marty Shanahan. Quillman has a vested interest as she is named in the complaint according to Shanahan. Quillman then excused herself saying she is hiring her own lawyer.

Opposing the hiring of the law firm is councilman Larry Hug who asked interim City Manager Steve Jones the scope of the investigation. Jones acknowledged the investigation could seep into other areas but doesn’t expect it to become, “the Mueller report.”

Jones said, “It became very clear that many elected officials feel that there is not sufficient independence and objectivity in our legal department.”

The city manager has the right to hire outside counsel for up to $20,000 but above that the council has to vote to approve funds. Council members voting to hire the outside law firm include, Don Dickinson, Bettye Gavin, Pat Mudron, Sherri Reardon and Mike Turk.

Voting no was Councilman Hug and Councilman Terry Morris.

Law firm Ancel Glink will look into the ethics probe and related matters.