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Winnebago investigation put on hold

By Staff | Nov 23, 2009

Rabdy Nowak

Just when you thought Winnebago officials were on their way to resolving a complaint filed against four council members, a potential setback has come to light.

Councilman Chris Ziegler wants City Attorney Douglas Johanson to determine whether a conflict of interest exists between the city administrator’s attorney and an investigator who has been hired.

Two weeks ago, the council approved a recommendation by Mayor Randy Nowak and Johanson to hire Jeff M. Zalasky,an attorney with the Iverson Reuvers Law Firm in Bloomington.

Tuesday night, Ziegler handed out a printout from the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association website of members on the group’s governmental liability committee.

The list of names included Paul Reuvers, Jon Iverson and Joseph Bromeland, Jennifer Feely’s attorney. However, Zalasky is not a member.

“I think that potentially gives us a conflict of interest. I would like an opinion on it,” says Ziegler. “This is a big concern for me.”

Bromeland downplayed his association with Reuvers and Iverson.

He says the committee meets only a couple of times a year and it’s been a long time since he has been involved with it.

“I don’t consider it to be of any significance whatsoever. I don’t know those gentlemen and they don’t know me,” he says.

Johanson was not at the meeting, so Nowak recessed the meeting to call him.

Nowak seemed frustrated and upset that he wasn’t made aware of the problem prior to the meeting.

“If you would have let me know, I could have talked with Doug,” Nowak told Ziegler.

Johanson has sent a copy of Ziegler’s handout to Zalasky and is waiting for his response. He will then report back to the mayor.