Library Board president mistakenly says Black Earth Village Administrator lodged complaint against Library Director

This story has been updated with information from here, which subsequenrly appeared in print.


The Black Earth Library Board held a meeting that--although it could not perform its intended actions--still filled in board members and the public about a complaint filed against Director Carolyn Shaffer. At the meeting, Library Board president Linda Colby said Village Administrator Shellie Benish filed the compaint. This was subsequenrly found to be false.

The Board had planned to enter into closed session to discuss the complaint, but Shaffer pointed out to Colby that a technical omission in the agenda prohibited the closed session. Despite the fact that the board could not meet in closed session to discuss the complaint, Colby discussed some details with the board.

Two weeks ago, Colby and Shaffer were working on the library employee manual when they entered the village office. As they exited, Benish asked Colby, without Shaffer, to stay back so they could discuss something. It was at this point, in a conversation between the two, that a library employee lodged their complaint against Shaffer. Benish's role was to communicate this complaint, not file it.

At the meeting Colby expressed how she didn’t want to be “put in this position,” noting the difficulty. She consulted with experts and determined that the complaint was a library board issue.

Colby, however, never discussed the matter with Shaffer.

Library Board member Gary Schuetz motioned that Colby, as quickly as possible, resolve the complaint with the parties involved. The motion passed unanimously.

This was after a lengthy explanation by Colby.

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