Curry says she wasn't told of firing Head of trustees says she was told

October 16, 1992|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,Staff Writer

Pratt Library director Anna Curry denied yesterday that she has been terminated from her $80,000-a-year job, although the president of the library's board of trustees reiterated that she has been fired.

"At no time have I been told: 'You are terminated,'" said Mrs. Curry, 59, speaking at a press conference at library headquarters.

"When I asked [trustee President James Ulmer] two weeks ago if he was prepared to present a document of termination, he would not respond."

But Mr. Ulmer said yesterday that he met on Sept. 30 with Mrs. Curry and her attorney and told them of the director's unsatisfactory formal evaluation and of the library trustees August vote to terminate her.

He said he gave her no formal notice of termination.

But he said that in a complaint she filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Mrs. Curry did say she had been fired.

Mrs. Curry has filed a federal age, sex, and race discrimination complaint against the trustees -- the private, autonomous board that governs the Pratt.

Investigators with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were at the Pratt Wednesday and again yesterday conducting interviews.

Mr. Ulmer said that a severance compensation offer to Mrs. Curry will stand only through next Friday.

If she rejects the officer, Mr. Ulmer said, she will be placed on administrative leave with pay until the end of the year, when her termination will take effect.

The trustees, at whose pleasure the director serves, voted 22-1 in August to remove Mrs. Curry. Since then, both sides have talked about an offer extended to Mrs. Curry on the condition that she resign, but no agreement has been reached.

Yesterday, Mr. Ulmer said: "She is fired. We would like for her to resign, but if she does not resign, she is fired. We hoped that none of this would come out, that she would resign and take the money. But we have voted to fire her."

Mr. Ulmer said that Mrs. Curry was offered a job as an aide in the mayor's office at about $76,000 a year -- the money to come from the trustees, the mayor's office and the director's retirement plan.

Through her attorney, Mrs. Curry drew up a list of severance compensations she would be willing to negotiate, including a cash settlement of a little more than $1 million to cover what she might have expected to earn over the next decade.

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