Marion officials refuse to explain hire of outside attorney to investigate police 'personnel matter'

Marion, Iowa Police Department
Marion, Iowa Police Department(KCRG)
Published: May. 13, 2019 at 5:32 PM CDT
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The city of Marion has been mostly silent so far about an investigation being conducted into what they are calling a "personnel matter" within the police department.

City officials are also refusing to explain why it hired an outside civil rights attorney to investigate the personnel matter.

The I9 investigative team first learned of the investigation back in April and that it is being done by attorney Fran Haas. Haas' law firm's website says she specializes in title nine investigations, matters of sex discrimination.

The city says it will not comment on personnel matters, including even the status of the investigation.

I9 reached out to the entire Marion City Council and Mayor Nicolas AbouAssaly on Monday concerning the situation but no one responded.

Marion's city manager, Lon Pluckhahn, did respond to by email but also declined to comment on the investigation except to say members of Marion's city council have "no purview or involvement" in personnel matters.

Pluckhahn did express confidence in the police department despite the recent loss of two top administrators.

Last week I9 reported that a second high ranking administrator is resigning from the Marion Police Department. Deputy Chief Doug Slagle says his decision to resign was "completely personal." His last day as a city employee will be July 5th.

Slagle's resignation comes a couple of weeks after Police Chief Joseph McHale announced he is leaving to take a consulting job in Florida.

The resignations have happened as the Marion Police Department is undergoing the internal investigation.

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