Lexington Public Library to Enter Arbitration with its Former CEO
Thursday, February, 21, 2013
An arbitration panel in Lexington, Kentucky ruled this week that the Lexington Public Library owes its former CEO, Kathleen Imhoff, a settlement due to her dismissal without just cause. The amount of the settlement is yet to be determined, but the employment contract under which Imhoff was working stated that the CEO would earn an annual salary of $137,035 for the span of four years. She had worked only two of the four years mentioned in the contract when she was fired.
While the employment contract contained a clause that allowed the CEO to be fired by the library’s Board of Trustees, the contract stated in clear terms that such firing could only take place under just cause. It is estimated that the damages Ms. Imhoff could receive in a following arbitration award could be close to $1 million dollars, which would include her salary for the two years left on her contract, the benefits and retirement contributions that would have been paid to her over the four-year span, and legal and arbitration fees that have incurred.
Imhoff's attorney, Richard Getty, is expected to file a motion by March 1 for the amount of damages his client should receive. "Ms. Imhoff feels vindicated," Getty said. "We feel like justice finally has been done." The attorney for the library, David Porter, had no statement and inquiries made to the library’s current CEO, Ann Hammond, have remained unanswered.
According to the information gathered so far in the lawsuit, Ms. Imhoff was released from her position at the Lexington Public Library following an article that was printed in the Lexington Herald-Leader about money she spent on personal travel, meals and gifts over the span of five years. In addition, news was released that the CEO had 1,522 images of “adult materials” on her library computer workstation, which was a violation of the library’s computer use policy.
Ms. Imhoff denied improper spending and denied that the adult images were due to her own browsing. She stated that she took the computer home with her to complete her work from home and that someone at her house could have used the computer to view the images. Furthermore, she stated that her office at the library had been broken into on three separate occasions, which would have allowed someone to use her computer and view the images. "I was not even in town the days that they said there were problems with it," she said.