Live Oak Public Libraries chairman promises to fix libraries

Live Oak Public Libraries chairman promises to fix libraries
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A tearful promise from the chairman of the Live Oak Public Library board to employees, a promise to improve the embattled system.

This comes after two scathing audits uncovered mismanaged public money and unethical HR practices.

These employees finally feel like they have a voice. A feeling that was expressed to the board on Tuesday night. They thanked them for listening and helping them.

But some employees still want two board members to step down.

"As long as there's breath in me, this library will not go back to where it was."

A packed room of employees, taxpayers and library users liked that message from Chairman Reverend Douglas Harn.

"We have a strong board. A board that is finally listening and we do appreciate you all," said Tia Johnson.

Two audits have marred the three-county library system. Those results led to the firing of the HR staff and the early retirement of the finance director.

Some, though, want two new board members gone.

Dr. Thomas Lockamy is a cousin of the HR director. Ward Divine is the husband of a woman accused of mismanaging over a hundred thousand dollars of donations.

"Those people were out there so they could whitewash and brush these two reports under the rug. We're not going to stand for it. If they don't take back their recommendations, or you don't vote off those other members of the board, then we'll have to vote them out of county commission," said Oglethorpe Librarian Mark Darby.

"To our county commissioners, you knew what you were doing and believe you, the public is watching," said Alicia Blakely.

Shortly after, Dr. Lockamy did resign. Divine was not at the meeting.

Not all was bad, though. There was high praise for Interim Director Jason Broughton.

They're not done yet, though.

"I'm for peace, but no justice, no peace. We're going to get some peace out of here," said Linda Wilder-Bryan.

The chairman would not say whether they plan on taking the financial audit to the district attorney. He did say they will have a more transparent and accountable finance department.

"My mission is to make sure that the children in this community get everything that they're supposed to get and right now they can't get what they're supposed to get because of foolishness. Just plain foolishness," said Wilder-Bryan.

"The people have spoken. I think this is one of the best nights of Live Oak Library System in history," said Chairman Rev. Harn.

The chairman also named four of the board members to the search committee for a new permanent director.

The following is the Letter of Resignation to the Live Oak Public Libraries from Dr. Lockamy of the Chatham County School District:

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