February 17, 2018

Former Pueblo Director Lee Settles Suit Against Library Officers

By LJ Staff

Former Pueblo City-County Library, CO, director Richard Lee has settled his law suit against library officials two years after he was fired for what he claimed was questioning the board president’s business dealings with the library. The Pueblo Chieftain April 10 reported that Lee settled with former board president Glenn Ballantyne, board member Bob Gobin, and interim director Barclay Jameson, and, although the exact sum was not divulged, Lee’s attorneys told the publication that the case was ‘settled satisfactorily.’ The settlement concludes a multichapter soap opera, which saw Lee fired, replaced, and rehired, board member resignations, and an investigation by the Pueblo city attorney’s office. Current Pueblo director Jon Walker told LJ that the library itself was not involved in the suit.

Lee, now the director of the Waukegan Public Library, IL, told LJ that, remarkably, the settlement came two years to the day that he was initially fired. He said the library still has not provided a reason behind his dismissal and that part of the litigation was ‘to make sure that they didn’t try to just bury everything and not admit any wrongdoing.’ The current Pueblo administration agreed that past officials’ actions were wrong. ‘They assumed liability,’ Lee said. Though stressful, Lee said he’d ‘do it all again,’ and hopes that the settlement isn’t the final chapter. ‘There’s still some hope by people in Pueblo that the past board president may see some jail time. There’s a new district attorney and he’s focusing on white collar crime and there’s speculation that there might have been some mail fraud, which has no statute of limitations, so let’s get it on.’