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The Shelby County Public Library and its director, Pam Federspiel, said that former children’s librarian Sherry Bogard resigned her position last month and was not fired, as she has claimed in a lawsuit.
The statement is part of the response to that lawsuit, filed last month in Shelby County District Court, in which Bogard claims, among other things, that she was fired without cause or due process. The library’s statement denies all claims in Bogard’s suit.
The response, filed by Shelbyville attorney Gregg Neal, of Neal & Davis PLLC, states that Bogard “voluntarily resigned from her employment with the Defendant, Shelby County Public Library, by walking off her job, on June 18, 2012.”
Neal said he could not go into any further details on the topic, but did issue a statement.
“Mrs. Bogard has had a lot of press recently, and, suffice it to say, we disagree with those complaints and we will have our response in court,” Neal said Thursday. “We feel her complaints are without merit, and likewise we believe that the library and Mrs. Federspiel will vindicated.”
The Sentinel-News had reported that Bogard was dismissed by Federspiel and that the decision was upheld by the library’s board of directors during a meeting on July 3.
Neal declined any other comment on the topic.
Bogard’s attorney, Amanda Walker of the Louisville-based Zoppoth Law Firm, did not respond to telephone messages seeking comment.
Bogard, the popular children’s librarian who was named the best in the state in 2011, said in the suit that she was ousted after a much-publicized confrontation with Federspiel. The board terminated her employment without hearing her comments. There has been a public outcry on her behalf the creation of a new summer reading program led by her at Clear Creek Park.
Another point of contention between the two sides is the allegation that Federspiel “demanded” Bogard clean sewage water that flooded the library.
Bogard’s suit claims that she complained that the water was potentially hazardous and voiced her concerns to the president of the library board.
The response to the suit states that Bogard was told that the water was from rainwater and that professionals were “promptly contacted to remedy the problem.” And it also refutes the statement that Bogard complained to the library board president Ken Hudson.
Bogard also claims in her suit that Federspiel denied her the opportunity to hire a disabled student as an intern because she said, “I don’t want ‘those’ people working here.”
The suit asks for a trial by jury, compensatory damages for past and future wages, emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment and punitive damages, among other things.
Although the response denies all these claims, the defendants are also requesting that the plaintiff, Bogard, cover attorney’s fees and other expenses.