BETHEL, Alaska -

The Bethel City Council has launched an outside investigation of how the city awards contracts. The investigation will also look at personnel matters.

KYUK reports the council approved spending up to $40,000 on the investigation.

The probe will look at employee complaints about possible inappropriate intimidation of employees by management. Council members also are seeking a legal analysis of the recently proposed city ordinance loosening nepotism rules and if there are any current violations of hiring relatives.

Investigators also will be asked to look at specific city contracts, including all contracts made with the city's former finance director, Bobby Sutton, both before he left city employment and later after he became a consultant.