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Harvard Fire Protection District hires firm to evaluate employee misconduct

An internal investigation into Harvard Fire Protection District employee misconduct unanimously was approved Tuesday by the district’s board.

The board hired the Naperville-based Ottosen, Britz, Kelly, Cooper, Gilbert and DiNolfo law firm to conduct the investigation.

Board President Tom Condon said no terms have been solidified with the law firm at this point.

Although attorney Karl Ottosen was in attendance for the meeting, there was no board discussion on the item during open session.

In an email sent to board Secretary Joe Clarke, Ottosen said the firm represents more fire protection districts than any other law firm in the state.

“As a result of our firm’s expertise and commitment to the fire service, we believe we will be able to bring a unique perspective to your district’s legal issues,” Ottosen said in the email. “We would welcome the opportunity to serve the Harvard Fire Protection District and anticipate no conflicts of interest with any of our clients.”

The firm’s billing rates are $225 an hour for attorneys, $160 an hour for law clerks and $150 for paralegal services.

Ottosen said in his email that retainer fee agreements to cover meetings and phone calls, flat-fee arrangements to cover fixed projects and flexible financial packages will ensure high-quality service to even the most financially burdened units of local government.

The board then adjourned to executive session with Ottosen, where they discussed the potential disciplining of certain fire protection district employees.

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