Archive for Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Ex-librarian waives right to hearing

June 25, 2003

The former director of the Tonganoxie Public Library awaits an arraignment hearing after waiving her right to a preliminary hearing last Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court.

Beckie Borella, 44, Tonganoxie, was charged with a one felony count of misusing public funds and was scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in the Leavenworth County Justice Center last week, but she waived her right to the hearing that morning.

"At this point, her attorney said she is contesting the amount of restitution," said Deborah Owens of the Leavenworth County District Attorney's office.

Borella's arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 11 in the justice center, 601 S. Third, Leavenworth.

Tonganoxie police began an investigation in April regarding allegations that Borella was misusing public funds. Police officials initially reported that the case involved misuse of a credit card totaling less than $5,000. However, during a special library board meeting April 23, it was reported that the questionable expenses totaled more than $8,000.

On Friday, Owens said the actual amount hadn't been presented to the court yet.

Amidst the police investigation, Borella resigned from the library director's position, a title she had held since October 1997.

Library board president Jim Morey said the search for a new director was going well, thanks in part to Internet advertising on library list serves -- one that reaches northeast Kansas and another that reaches a five-state area.

"We've got several applications already," Morey said. "Four or five came in as a result of word-of-mouth."

The library's paid staff includes collection development librarian Sherryl Cooley and circulation librarian Rhonda McReynolds as well. Another five volunteers work at the library.

"We're going to get a good librarian and it's going to take as long as it takes," Morey said. "We're going to get a competent librarian. We have an excellent staff."

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