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Fired Lindsay Librarian Received an Award

March 25, 2008 8:44:36 PM PDT
At 6pm at Lindsay City Hall, Brenda Biesterfeld received a "Gold Star Award" form the national organization Family Friendly Libraries. The award is given for dedication to protecting children in public libraries.Last week Brenda Biesterfeld's attorney sent a letter to the county saying they will file a lawsuit if the county doesn't reinstate her as a librarian. The county responded today, but Biesterfeld says she's still suing for wrongful termination. Brenda Biesterfeld's three-month evaluation rates her performance as 5 out of 10 which is an average rating by county standards. Her supervisor writes she's "increasing [her] skills" and treating people in a "friendly manner." Biesterfeld says this is proof she was wrongly fired.

"I had never been reprimanded or written up or anything like that," says Brenda Biesterfeld.

Earlier this month, Brenda Biesterfeld was working for the county-run library in Lindsay when she says she saw a man looking at child pornography on a computer. Her supervisor told her to give the man a warning but Biesterfeld called the police. She believed she witnessed a crime. 39-year old Donny Crisler is now in jail facing child pornography charges. Biesterfeld's attorney says there is a problem with the library's policy on reporting crimes.

Steve Crampton, Biesterfeld's attorney, says "What's going on in our public libraries? What kind of policies are in place or should be in place to protect innocent children?"

Crampton says he'll hand over all legal documents to the county in a week. In a letter to Biesterfeld's attorney on Tuesday, Tulare county officials once again insisted she was fired for personnel reasons. They offered to have a judge act as a mediator before any legal actions go forward.

Eric Coyne, Tulare County representative says, "We made that clear in the letter. We rejected the so called "facts" that he's presenting in the letter that concluded that she was dismissed for that reason."

Biesterfeld's 3-month evaluation also states she is "hesitant in calling when [there are] questions regarding policy." Biesterfeld says she will release her full employee folder once her attorney looks it over.


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