Public calls for termination of library director

NORWICH – A crowd of nearly 40 people gathered at Guernsey Memorial Library Thursday night for the first library board meeting to take place since the results of the State Comptroller’s audit was released. With emotions running high, the Norwich City Police Department was asked to stand by in case matters got out of hand.

The audit, released July 31, identified $15,000 in questionable purchases made by Guernsey Director Melanie Battoe between July, 2005 and August, 2007.

The board presented a shortened agenda for the night in order to leave extra time for public comment at the end of the meeting. After appointing a new board member, Angela Levesque, and presenting the monthly report of the newly-formed finance committee, which found nothing questionable in the July bills, Board President Craig Lawson addressed the crowd.

Lawson explained that since the audit had been done, the board has worked to make additional policies and update the many already in place. “We began revisions as soon as the deficiencies were brought to the board’s attention,” Lawson said. Since the audit, the board has appointed a finance committee to review bills before payment; revised the purchasing policy; entered into a legally reviewed and signed contract for computer services with Battoe’s husband and is currently in the process of further revising policies for credit card use, travel, meals and refreshments and petty cash.

“I’m aware there are many questions with regard to the library director,” Lawson said. “Employment status is a confidential matter, and until a decision has been made by the board, we will be unable to answer those questions,” Lawson said.

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