St. Paul hires attorney to review its response to deadly landslide

St. Paul has hired a Minneapolis attorney to conduct an independent review of the city’s response to a landslide in a city park that killed two school children last month.

Two 4th graders from Peter Hobart Elementary School died when the side of a bluff collapsed on them during a fossil-hunting field trip to Lilydale Regional Park. Two other children were injured in the May 22 incident.

Joe Campbell is a spokesman for the city of St. Paul.

“You know with a tragedy of this magnitude, we really believed that we needed someone to come in that’s an expert and really oversee a review of our processes, to make sure that the families that are affected by this really believe that the city has done everything it can to be as transparent as possible,” Campbell said.

St. Paul hired Donald Lewis, co-founder of Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minneapolis. He’s dean of the Hamline University School of Law. He will lead the review of the city’s response, including how fire, police, and other city departments handled the incident. The city already has hired Northern Technology Incorporated, a geo-technical firm, to investigate the cause of the landslide.