A library director expecting to be fired recently withdrew his previous request for a payment to leave his position and resigned at a recent board meeting. Only days earlier, the former East Baton Rouge Parish Library Director had submitted a letter to the board, which described the director as a whistle-blower and demanded a payout of $2.3 million in exchange for a signed confidentiality agreement.

If fired without such an agreement, the letter further suggested that employment litigation could be forthcoming. The library director believed that his superiors were retaliating against him and that he was being targeted for reporting unethical activities by three board members. While he was an “at-will” employee, which means he would not normally require a reason for termination, he could not be fired for certain prohibited factors such as age, race and sex or whistle-blowing.

On the other hand, the board was set to review the director’s job performance at the recent board meeting. Chief among its concerns was a previous criminal conviction for impersonating a peace officer. The board also expressed dissatisfaction regarding a former employee hired by the director. That employee, hired to serve as deputy director, pleaded guilty to a count of attempted receipt of child pornography in federal court in September. He was a longtime friend of the director prior to the hiring.

However, just as the situation looked to reach its boiling point, the library director unexpectedly resigned his post prior to the meeting. In the letter sent to the board, he made no mention of his previous requests for payment and expressed hope that the library system would move forward in a positive manner. He did allege unethical behavior by three board members, which will be investigated.

Source: The Advocate, “Embattled library chief David Farrar resigns,” Greg Garland, Dec. 16, 2011