Sudbury's mayor says city councillors may have met illegally last month to discuss firing the Ontario ombudsman as its private meeting investigator.

And in the latest twist to this story, it's Andre Marin who might end up being the one to find out if that's true.

The alleged secret meeting of councillors happened while Marin was still the city's closed door meeting investigator. 

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Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk. (Yvon Theriault/CBC)

"In the community, everyone is pretty convinced that there was something inappropriate that did happen," Mayor Marianne Matichuk said.

"I would like to speak with the ombudsman about what I saw. I'm not going to bring that out in the public."

City Councillor Frances Caldarelli lashed out at Matichuk for accusing councillors of wrongdoing without presenting much evidence.

"They're saying 'Well, somebody told me,’ but they're not saying who told them," she said "I think that's very unreliable and unfortunate."

But Caldarelli and the majority of council did vote Tuesday night to ask Andre Marin to come back to Sudbury for this one last investigation — and finally put this question to rest.

Marin was fired by council in February. Despite roughly 50 complaints to his office about his very firing, Marin said he was tired of dealing with Greater Sudbury and wouldn't look into any of them.

Additionally, plastic bags with more than 8,700 petition postcards calling for council to overturn the firing of Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin were also presented to council.

Accountability and transparency

On Tuesday, council also voted to hire a consultant to study whether or not the city needs to hire an auditor general.

Matichuk said after the meeting that transparency should always be at the top of council's agenda.

"I may be the odd person out on a lot of things, but I'm going to hold true to my values, I'm going to hold true to what I was elected to do," she said.

"If it happens that the public is voicing their opinions that they want more accountability, then it's our job to do that."

But city councillor Frances Caldarelli said these past few months of misunderstanding and mistrust have made it miserable to be on council.

"I am really afraid that come the next election, you will not find a decent candidate to run, because this is becoming an extremely unpleasant arena to be working in," she said.

The consultant's study on the future of Sudbury's auditor general is expected to be released in May.