The Mobile City Council's special counsel investigation into allegations made by former police chief Paul Prine has again been accused of being "compromised" by internal bias and retaliation.

The attorney for Gulf Coast Technology Center Commander Kevin Levy told 1819 News that the Council's move to subpoena his client was an "extraordinary action" that underscores "concerns about the impartiality" of the investigation.

The City Council hired Birmingham-based law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings to investigate claims Prine made to media outlets after he was put on administrative leave. Prine publicly stated there were possible improprieties among city administrators and that after he filed grievances, city administrators began the process of firing him. Prine said he would not be silenced and continued to come forward with issues he thought were unethical.

After Prine was fired, the Council approved a special investigation into those claims. However, Levy's personal attorney, Christopher Callaghan, said it appears the investigation is focused on finding one outcome.

"It is imperative that investigations yield outcomes based on evidence, not on predetermined conclusions," Callaghan said.

Callaghan, who is also a judge, said his client raised concerns about an attorney, Fred Helmsing, Jr., being retained to represent the City of Mobile, Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Chief of Staff James Barber, Public Safety Director Rob Lasky and Levy. He said the concern was a potential conflict of interest, with Helmsing representing the city and all four officials.

Levy retained Callaghan as his own attorney and cooperated with the investigation. Callaghan said his client underwent five hours of sworn testimony with special investigator Bill Athanas.

After Levy filed a Notice of Claim with the city, Callaghan said Helmsing notified him that Athanas would need further testimony. That is where Levy's voluntary cooperation ended.

"Commander Levy has now cooperated fully in four separate investigations concerning the same issues, none of which have yet to uncover any wrongdoing by city employees or officials," Callaghan said.

Callaghan noted that he was concerned that another attorney contacted him about his client instead of the special investigator.

"This raises serious questions," Callaghan added. "Why did Mr. Athanas communicate this to Mr. Helmsing but not to me? Yesterday [Monday], I informed Mr. Athanas that Commander Levy has already fully cooperated in this and all other investigations. I also stated that Commander Levy would not agree to testify further, as doing so could inadvertently disclose strategic or privileged information related to ongoing negotiations with the City regarding Commander Levy's Notice of Claim."

Callaghan said his concerns heightened when the City Council approved a subpoena for Levy's further testimony and materials.

"If Commander Levy receives a subpoena he will comply with the subpoena; however, this remarkable step can only bring into question the integrity of this investigation," he said. "In my opinion, these actions suggest that the investigation may be compromised. In my opinion, this situation appears to be driven by a desired outcome rather than allowing the investigation to yield its own results."

"Additionally, I believe this constitutes retaliatory behavior by the City of Mobile in response to Commander Levy's filing of a Notice of Claim," Callaghan continued. "We urge the City of Mobile to ensure that the investigation remains fair, impartial, and free from conflicts of interest. The integrity of the investigative process must be upheld to maintain public trust and ensure justice for all parties involved."

Levy, who has been with the city of Mobile for nine years, previously worked as a university instructor and served as a Special Agent for the U.S. Secret Service.

While Prine said he cooperated with the investigators and felt the interview was objective, he said only time will tell how objective it is.

SEE ALSO: Former Mobile police chief suspects collusion in special counsel investigation; Mayor expresses 'grave concern' over subpoenas

His supporters showed up to a June council meeting wearing clown wigs, calling the city administration a circus and claiming the investigation was already compromised when the city refused to subpoena its own officials but did subpoena Prine.

Stimpson has also asked for an Attorney General investigation into Prine's allegations.

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