The whistleblower investigation into the Charlotte Fire Department will cost the city $214,370.14.
In December, City Manager Ron Carlee hired Greensboro attorney Allison Van Laningham to probe whether the department retaliated against former fire investigation Crystal Eschert.
Eschert was fired last fall over what the city said was an offensive Facebook post. Eschert said she was targeted because she complained about the quality of renovations on a city-owned building that would house her team of fire investigators.
The report, released in April, found “no direct evidence” of retaliation. The report also said many fire employees distrust department officials and said “the problem is so significant … many believe that any infraction or departure from the desires of certain members of the command staff will result in unfair punishment, targeting, and retaliation.”
The investigation lasted from December to March. The average hourly rate was $280.