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Krum library director on leave pending investigation into complaint

City officials in Krum are investigating a complaint of alleged misconduct by the Krum Public Library director, according to Mayor Ron Harris.

On Monday, a special council meeting was called to discuss allegations received in a May 1 complaint regarding the matter. Dozens of residents attended the meeting to show support for Donna Pierce, the city's library director of 10 years.

Council members, who discussed the allegations in open session Monday at the request of Pierce, took no action on the matter but asked City Secretary Andrea Dzioba, who also serves as human resources director for the city, to proceed with the investigation into the complaint, including interviews with Pierce and library and city staff.

"We owe the complainant[s] respect to take a look at what they're alleging, and we're investigating that," Harris said. "You can't discount things that are brought to our attention like that."

Harris declined Tuesday to elaborate on the misconduct Pierce is alleged to have committed.

"It's an ongoing investigation, and I won't do that," he said.

Council member Rhonda Harrison said the complaint, filed by a former employee, alleges the staffer was unable to meet Pierce's expectations, and Pierce did not conduct herself in a professional manner.

"I'm going to wait and see what this investigation brings to light," she said. "I certainly want to see this come to a conclusion and to move on from this."

Residents who attended the meeting said the complaint alleges Pierce created a hostile work environment.

Paul Leibrock, a longtime library supporter, attended Monday's meeting to show support for Pierce.

"To me personally ... I just don't see how this lady would have ever done this," he said. "I just don't see Donna Pierce doing what they accused her of."

The Denton Record-Chronicle has requested a copy of the complaint filed with the city against Pierce as well as any disciplinary action or reprimands taken or recommended for her throughout the her employment with Krum. As of Tuesday evening, the information was unavailable.

Pierce has been on paid administrative leave since Friday.

Pierce said she learned of the alleged complaint against her at Monday's meeting. Pierce said although the allegation was discussed at Monday's meeting, she hasn't seen or read the complaint herself. To learn that a complaint was filed against her, Pierce said she was "surprised, kind of shocked and hurt."

"I have nothing to hide," she said. "I may have made some mistakes ... but I would own up to that."

Harris said the city intends to complete an internal investigation into the allegations within the next couple weeks and present its findings to council members.

"At this point there's been no decision, and once we've made a decision, everyone will know about it," Harris said. "We don't know which way it's going to go either way."

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876.