ROCKLAND — City Manager James Chaousis launched an investigation of certain city employees last week, including seizing and looking at their computers.

As of Tuesday morning, no personnel actions had been taken, but the manager has met with the City Council twice behind closed doors to discuss personnel matters, including a rare Saturday executive session of the council.

The City Council voted unanimously Saturday to go into a closed-door meeting with Chaousis concerning personnel matters. The council and manager were in that meeting for about three hours. Following the meeting, they did not take any public votes or provide any public information.

In an email Friday, Councilor Larry Pritchett said: “Personnel questions involving more than one City employee have been brought to Council members’ attention in the last 10 days. A majority of Council felt the number, range and complexity of questions warranted a special meeting of the body.”

The exact nature of these questions has not been released publicly.

The city manager on Dec. 31 seized the computers of some city employees.

The manager and council have also discussed the council’s use of City Attorney Kevin Beal. Councilor Bill Jillson said before the Saturday meeting that Chaousis sent a memo to the council after Beal helped draft the recent moratorium on power plant projects, saying the council should not use the services of the attorney without going through the city manager, as the city attorney’s manager.

Former mayor and city councilor Tom Molloy said during the public comment portion of the meeting Saturday that under the city charter, the council maintains its supervisory role over the city attorney and should have unrestricted access to the city attorney’s advice. He said he added ordinance language in 1996 simply to provide the city manager access to the attorney as well, but that was not intended to take away the council’s access to the attorney.

Chaousis said Sunday he could not release much information about the personnel investigation he had launched, noting it was sensitive.

He said he personally handled the investigation, and acknowledged that it included looking at computer use.

The city manager said this kind of investigation is disruptive to the organization, and that is why the City Council met on an emergency basis.

Chaousis sent a memo to Beal Dec. 23 with a list of eight administrative orders, including one that instructed the legal department to process no further actions, requests, projects or inquiries without authorization from the city manager or his designee. The memo also stated that the city manager has authority over the attorney, citing the city code.

“Administration of the city has been tumultuous over the last 10 months since my appointment as the city manager,” Chaousis said in the memo. “Often, there is a disconnect between communications coming from the city council, city manager and city attorney. This also appears to be a repeated pattern of behavior from the legal department in which the city council has offered guidance. It does not appear that this guidance has had an effect.”

Chaousis said in the memo it was his intention to bring the legal department back to the path written in the city charter and code. Asked about the Sunday memo, Chaousis said it was a stopgap to get the investigation underway.

He said he took action to guide the City Council, but did not want to clash with the council over the attorney issue. Chaousis also said that he follows the direction of the City Council once it speaks to an issue.