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updated: 8/26/2011 6:31 AM

Sugar Grove library still arguing over firing director

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  • Citizens for a Better Sugar Grove picketed the Sugar Grove Library July 29 to protest the firing of longtime library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes. Critics have continued to attend library board meetings since then, demanding to know why Hughes was fired and calling for the trustees who voted for that to resign. They have also been highly critical of the way the board conducts its business.

      Citizens for a Better Sugar Grove picketed the Sugar Grove Library July 29 to protest the firing of longtime library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes. Critics have continued to attend library board meetings since then, demanding to know why Hughes was fired and calling for the trustees who voted for that to resign. They have also been highly critical of the way the board conducts its business.
    Rick West/July 2011

  • Former Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes

      Former Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes

 
 

A Sugar Grove Library trustee Thursday accused the board president of acting deviously in hiring help for the library.

Trustee Bill Durrenberger said President Joan Roth did not tell him the name of the woman she hired to process the library's Freedom of Information Act requests, when Roth called him to tell him about the appointment. Furthermore, he said the woman refused to tell him her name when he asked her, going only by her initials.

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It turns out the woman, Linda Gleysteen, pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor battery.

"You and Linda were trying to hide a relevant factor from me, a trustee," Durrenberger said. "I cannot vote to keep this woman on in this circumstance because it would be encouraging this kind of deviance. He said if Roth had provided information about the woman's background, he might have considered hiring her.

The board voted 4-1-1, with Roth voting "present," to terminate Gleysteen's employment with the library. The criminal history was raised by members of Citizens for a Better Sugar Grove, who have been protesting the July firing of the library's longtime director, and how the board conducts its business.

More than 40 people attended Thursday's meeting, and as they have since July, many asked trustees Roth, Art Morrical, Bob Bergman and Julie Wilson to resign. The trustees had voted to fire Beverly Holmes Hughes July 15.

Once again, nobody resigned. Roth offered to personally pay the FOIA officer's salary, and said Gleysteen was commonly referred to by her initials.

Gleysteen is a former West Aurora District 129 Jefferson Middle School teacher. She pleaded guilty in March to battery of a student at the Aurora school.

She sprayed whiteboard cleaner in a boy's eyes after admonishing him for talking to another student. Gleysteen received a sentence of supervision and 50 hours community service.

Asked if she knew of this, Roth replied,"Absolutely."

She disputed that Gleysteen had pleaded guilty, until a protester provided the board with a printout of a Kane County circuit court clerk record showing the plea and sentence.

"She is working in an office. If she were dealing with the public or children ..." Roth said, before being interrupted by Durrenberger.

New interim library Director Marilyn Boria said Gleysteen has been working in her office and has no contact with the public in the library.

Erickson also questioned how Roth could hire Gleysteen without putting the matter to a board vote, and whether she had consulted the other trustees.

Roth said it was an "emergency" situation because there are pending FOIA requests that had to be responded to within five business days, and some of them were coming due soon.

The board also released a statement about the firing. Critics have been pushing for one. It said the four trustees who voted to fire Hughes did so because of increasing tensions between them and her, because she had spent money without telling them and had not provided financial information to their satisfaction.

After the meeting, attendees yelled "Shame!" at those trustees.

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