Magazine article American Libraries

Indianapolis Councilor Says Board Should Quit

Magazine article American Libraries

Indianapolis Councilor Says Board Should Quit

Article excerpt

Nearly four months after the board of the Indianapolis--Marion County Public Library fired Chief Executive Officer Ed Szynaka (AL, Aug., p. 28-29), a city-county councilor has called for the resignations of six of the seven board members. The lone exception was Sarah Taylor, who only joined the board in July. "It's such a dysfunctional board," Council President Phil Borst said in the August 15 Indianapolis Star. "They just don't work together. For the benefit of the library system, I think a new board and new director are the way to go."

Borst's comments came after a June 19 internal report, prepared by library attorney Gene R. Leeuw, was made public, alleging conflicts of interest on the board and poor oversight of Szynaka's use of library funds for lobbying state and local officials. The report prompted the Indiana Board of Accounts to launch an inquiry into whether $230,000 in lobbying contracts was properly approved.

In his first interview after being fired April 17, Szynaka angrily denied in the August 13 Star that board members were uninformed about contracts with three law firms hired in 2002 to lobby officials in an effort to improve or repair Szynaka's image in the community. …

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