Arlington Heights library official says he was fired without cause

A top administrator at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library said Wednesday he was fired without cause, weeks after the recent resignation of the library's executive director.

Jeremy Andrykowski, the deputy director and a 17-year employee, said he was asked by Acting Executive Director Mike Driskell to resign on Monday because, after discussions with unnamed staff members, “he didn't see how he could move forward with me” in that position.

Andrykowski says he refused to resign, leading to Driskell's firing decision.

“There was no misconduct or breach of policy or insubordination,” Andrykowski said. “They just terminated me after 17 years of dedicated service. I learned to type in that building. The first streets I walked on were in Arlington Heights. And that's how they're going to do me.”

Earlier Wednesday, library spokeswoman Mary Hastings confirmed Andrykowski's last day was Monday, but she declined to say whether he resigned or was fired.

Driskell did not respond to a request for comment.

Library board President Deb Smart referred questions about Andrykowski's departure to the library staff.

“Jeremy doesn't report to the board but to the acting executive director,” Smart said. “We've named an acting director who's working very hard with staff, and I have no other comment to make.”

In response to a question on the turnover, she said, “There's a lot of movement in the library world and we're moving forward with the library.”

Andrykowski's departure comes exactly four weeks after executive director Jason Kuhl handed in his resignation, citing personal reasons.

As deputy director, Andrykowski was one of four administrators who reported to Kuhl. The others were the directors of human resources, finance and administration.

Driskell, the director of administration, was formally appointed by the library board as acting executive director on Oct. 3.

As deputy director, Andrykowski was responsible for overseeing the library's programs and exhibits, collection services, digital services, customer services, specialty information services and security.

Shannon Distel, the library's grants and development administrator, will take over those responsibilities on an interim basis, Hastings said.

Andrykowski was hired by the library in 2000 as a Bookmobile specialist and worked his way up as a circulation services manager and senior manager of customer services, until his appointment as deputy director in September 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

His LinkedIn page on Wednesday listed that he is “seeking new opportunities.”

Andrykowski and Kuhl were both scheduled to present at a Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia in March 2018. Their presentation, “Redesigning Your Organization for Today and Tomorrow,” also was to be given with Tom Spicer, the library's specialty information services manager. But on Wednesday, only Spicer's name was still listed as a presenter on the conference's website.

Andrykowski was making an annual salary of $108,391, plus $17,628 in health insurance benefits. He did not receive any type of severance agreement, Hastings said.

Kuhl did receive $73,589, or about six months of his salary, and six months of health insurance benefits, under a separation agreement approved by the board Oct. 3.

Smart said the library board has had preliminary discussions in closed session about choosing a permanent executive director, but has not implemented a formal plan or timeline to do so. The board's next meeting is on Monday, but so far, the job search isn't on the agenda, Smart said.

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