Ex-Pratt library chief accepts offer, drops suit

January 13, 1993|By Rafael Alvar | Rafael Alvar,Staff Reporter

The Enoch Pratt Free Library announced yesterday that former executive director Anna Curry had dropped her discrimination suits against the library and accepted a retirement package that sources said will pay Mrs. Curry approximately $80,000 a year.

Mrs. Curry, 59, said the settlement includes a library-related job for her in the administration of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Mrs. Curry said she was not ready to describe what the job would be.

Under the terms of the settlement, Mrs. Curry officially retired effective Dec. 31.

Mrs. Curry, who served as director of the Pratt beginning in 1981, was terminated from her position in a 22-to-1 vote by the Pratt Board of Trustees last August because of alleged mismanagement.

After she was fired, Mrs. Curry filed a sex, age and gender discrimination complaint against the library trustees with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Pratt said in a news release yesterday that "all complaints against the library have been withdrawn or dismissed" as part of the settlement.

James A. Ulmer, president of the Pratt trustees, said that under the terms of the settlement, both sides were prohibited from revealing details.

But sources said the deal was similar to an original retirement offer made to Mrs. Curry by the trustees not long after the vote to remove her as library director. That offer, which included an unspecified job in the mayor's office, would have paid her the equivalent of her salary, roughly $80,000.

After rejecting the trustees' original offer, Mrs. Curry was criticized both within the Pratt and by the public for filing the discrimination complaints while demanding severance compensation totaling $1 million.

"I always thought the original offer was generous and fair," said a source within the Pratt. "I think Mrs. Curry had some bad advice; if she had taken it the first time, she could have bowed out gracefully."

A party to honor Mrs. Curry's 38-year career with the Pratt is being planned for March by the library trustees.

A national search to replace Mrs. Curry has been under way since the fall and now includes resumes from about three dozen applicants, according to Mr. Ulmer, who said a new director will be named by mid-year.

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