CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati City Council has laid the groundwork to investigate their city manager who is accused of bullying employees and retaliating against those who disagreed with him.

The council voted for the plan Wednesday that gives two council members broad authority to lead an investigation and to solicit testimony from employees who claim City Manager Harry Black acted inappropriately on the job.

The move signals the end of several weeks of debate with Democratic Mayor John Cranley, who wants to force Black out.

A council majority recently refused to fire Black, saying Cranley's objections were personal rather than professional.

Black says he regrets council's decision to begin an investigation and says he plans to hire an outside attorney to represent him.