Birmingham Library Board Back in Executive Session Addressing Complaint Against Employee

Birmingham Public Library (Source: Encyclopedia of Alabama)

The Birmingham Public Library board of trustees met in executive session Tuesday evening to address a complaint against an employee governed by the board.  No action was taken following the 45-minute executive session, which was called for by the board’s attorney, who said the grievance involved an alleged violation of Alabama ethics law.

Assistant Birmingham city attorney Veronica Merritt said the formal, written complaint discussed in private by the board accused an employee of violating a state law that prohibits public employees from receiving or soliciting anything for the purpose “of corruptly influencing official action.”

Tuesday night’s session is the latest in a series of closed door executive sessions for the library board since April.  Earlier executive sessions were held after employee complaints about library Executive Director Floyd Council were made public.

After the board went into executive session in May to discuss Council, board members told Council that he has their support.

“Mr. Council has gone above and beyond during the last weeks and months,” trustee Kimberly Richardson said after the May 9 executive session.

Council reports directly to the board of trustees, which hired him in November 2017.

Executive sessions are generally held by public boards to protect employee privacy and because of legal considerations. Normally all board and committee meetings for the library are open to the public.

The largest library system in Alabama and part of the city of Birmingham for more than 100 years, the Birmingham Public Library is guided by a 10-member board of trustees. Trustees are appointed by the Birmingham City Council.