Three Boston Public Library employees are on unpaid administrative leave, and officials have been silent over the details surrounding their absences.
Last week, the Boston Herald first reported three facilities managers had been on leave since July 18. Library spokeswoman Lisa Pollack declined to name the individuals or discuss why they aren’t at work as an internal investigation is conducted, according to the newspaper.
“As this is an ongoing personnel matter, we are not able to offer any additional comment at this time,” Pollack wrote in an email to Boston.com Monday.
Here’s what we do know:
Police were reviewing the matter
The Boston Police Department, two days after the initial Herald report, confirmed it was looking into the situation.
“The Boston Public Library has referred a personnel matter to the Boston Police Department for review,” spokesman Sgt. John Boyle told the newspaper. “We have no comment at this time as the matter is pending.”
According to the library, the matter was only being reviewed by authorities and hadn’t escalated to a police investigation, the Herald reported.
Others have also declined to comment
Several city councilors, who said a call from the newspaper was the first they had heard of the situation, declined to weigh in on the matter when asked for comment last week, according to the Herald.
“I have complete confidence in the way the library is going,” Robert Gallery, chairman of the library’s board of trustees, told the newspaper, but he declined to comment further.
The managers placed on leave are not members of the library’s employee union, AFSCME Local 1526, its president, Elissa Cadillic, told The Boston Globe. She declined to discuss the matter further.
Mayor Marty Walsh’s office has also declined to comment on the matter, according to Herald reports. In an email Monday, a spokesperson for Walsh’s office referred inquiries from Boston.com to the library.
The probe comes three years after past controversy
The library’s latest personnel probe comes three years after some of the institution’s top leaders resigned after pieces of art were misplaced at the Copley Square branch.
In April 2015, two prints by Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer, collectively valued at approximately $630,000, went missing, spurring a criminal investigation before both were found misfiled on a library shelf in June, according to the Globe.
Then-library president Amy Ryan announced her resignation a day before the prints were found, and Jeffrey Rudman, then chairman of the library’s trustees, announced his resignation days later at Walsh’s request, according to the newspaper.
That October, the library fired a longtime employee who was tasked with overseeing the two pieces of art.