County of Tulare Outraged

March 15, 2008 1:47:40 PM PDT
Tulare County Librarian who led police to a child porn suspect says she got fired for calling the cops.It happened in the town of Lindsay.

"It's fun, exciting and loud at the weekly street fair in Lindsay, but many here are concerned about a much quieter place, the public library."

Ed Murray, Mayor of Lindsay: "The town is appalled."

"This is a heinous crime."

Pam Kimball, Vice-Mayor: "People are getting the wrong idea about Lindsay and the Lindsay Library."

It started when Lindsay police arrested 39 year old Donny Lynn Chrisler on child pornography charges while he was using a computer in the Lindsay library.

Rich Wilkinson, Lindsay Police Dept.: "He was using the one remaining computer in the library and had pornographic images on the scene as he was taken into custody."

At Chrisler's mobile home police say they found hundreds of pornographic images of boys, from two to 17 years in age. He may face federal charges police were alerted to Chrisler by Lindsay librarian Brenda Biesterfeld who was shocked by what she saw.

Brenda Biesterfeld, Former Librarian: "It was naked blonde haired boys, posing, you know, posing."

What did you think?

"Child pornography."

But perhaps more shocking than what she saw was what happened to Brenda. Two days after calling police, she was fired from her job. She believes it was because her supervisor told her to simply give Chrisler a written warning and told her not to call police. County Administrator Jean Rousseau says he's looking into the firing, as a confidential personnel matter.

Jean Rousseau, Tulare Co. Administrator: "There is a difference of opinion as to was communicated to the supervisor initially and the actual direction the supervisor gave her and I'll leave it at that."

But folks in Lindsay aren't leaving it at that. Lindsay city officials are outraged at the county's actions, and demanding action be taken against library administrators, not Brenda.

Suzi Picasso, City Council Member: "I feel she did the right thing and should be commended."

Brenda has hired a lawyer and says she isn't sure she'd take her job back if she could.

Brenda:"At this point if that's the Tulare County Libraries policy I don't even want my children in the library."

It's been a week since Brenda was fired by the County's Chief Librarian. Now, in a sudden turn of events, his job may be on the line. The Tulare County Supervisors have decided to review his job performance at their next meeting.


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