Lindsay Library Controversy

April 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tulare county leaders have claimed Lindsay library worker Brenda Biesterfeld was let go because she wasn't doing her job. They produced a list of 13 reasons why she was terminated. Those reasons include calling the cops when she caught a man viewing child porn in the library without, they claim, properly notifying her supervisors.But, to folks in Lindsay and in fact, across the country, Biesterfeld has become a hero and a martyr. She's received awards and accolades for making the call she believes cost her job. Tulare County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau acknowledges Biesterfeld's decision to go to the police was a factor in letting her go. He said, " This poor judgment, not notifying her superiors having the police come in an arrest this gentleman without keeping library management and county management apprised was really poor judgment on her part."

Rousseau claims Biesterfeld was not fired, but released during her probationary period. He adds, there were a dozen other reasons to let Biesterfeld go, including problems with her time cards, and failure to properly reshelf books. He said the county had already decided she wouldn't work out saying: "The decision to terminate her was made in mid-February; the decision to let her go at the time was based on her behavior in this incident."

Biesterfeld maintains she told her supervisor the man was looking at child porn, and she was simply instructed to tell the man to leave. Her decision to go further, and call police apparently embarrassed the county. Rousseau said the County was caught off guard because he claims Biesterfeld didn't tell his supervisor the man was viewing child pornography, that's why the supervisor did not tell her to call police. Rousseau went on to say: "Then two days later we find out that she had notified the police department of a person watching child pornography not regular pornography and allowed the police to come in and confiscate the computer."

Lindsay Police later arrested the library patron after they said they found child porn in his home. Brenda Biesterfeld is pursuing legal action against the county. Her attorney has advised her not to comment on the counties list of reasons for letting her go.


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