Whatever the result of Huron's look into whether some employees are cheating on their insurance deductibles, the city's going about its investigation the right way.
Clearly, city officials understand the value of an open and transparent investigation.
The question is whether some members of the police and fire departments are taking, on the sly, medications to lower their blood pressure and so avoid paying higher deductibles on their health insurance.
This is conjecture on our part, but there are any number of reasons why this would not be OK, and it's the city's responsibility to look into any serious concern the rules aren't being followed or that people are getting a benefit for which they're not paying. That concern apparently materialized in a conversation between police Chief Randy Glovinsky and City Manager Andy White.
The city's approach -- hiring an outside investigator to talk to everyone who might have information -- is the correct one. Although a detective from any of the local law enforcement agencies would be able to do the job, this approach, wasteful though it might seem, fulfills a cardinal requirement of such an investigation: the avoidance of even the appearance of impropriety.
The fact is, local law enforcement in Erie County is a tightly knit community, irrespective of what uniform a particular officer might wear. That's to our advantage in a good many cases -- police departments working together easily because people know each other -- but it's something the target of an investigation can use to pick a case apart in court, or in the court of public opinion.
There'll undoubtedly be a bill for the investigator's services. Even if it exceeds the amount of the insurance money involved, it's money that has to be spent.