The lawsuit of former Jackson-Hinds Library System Executive Director Patty Furr against the Jackson Hinds Library System is scheduled to be heard in federal court in 2022.
The civil rights-employment suit is set for a jury trial scheduled April 18, 2022 in U.S. District Court before Judge Carlton W. Reeves.
Furr filed a complaint on Nov. 25, 2020 against the Jackson-Hinds Library System and Rickey Jones, chair of the system’s board of trustees.
Furr is represented by Robert Nicholas and Louis H. Watson Jr., both of Watson & Norris. Jones is represented by Pieter Teeuwissen, and the library system by Sarah Elizabeth Budslick and James Scott Rogers, both of Vernis and Bowling.
Furr filed a claim with the Mississippi Tort Claim Board, citing wrongful termination by the JHLS board of trustees.
Furr was terminated in June 2020, after several accusations were levied against her, including “fostering a hostile work environment,” and the “misapplication and/or misappropriation of funds for improvements to facilities and raises for employees,” a letter to Furr reads.
The director has denied those allegations.
According to a copy of the complaint, Furr had worked for the library for seven years and “never received any disciplinary citations, nor negative performance evaluations of any kind during that time.”
She claims that she had only been given one evaluation by the board, despite asking for an evaluation on numerous occasions, the document states.
The claim calls out several board members in particular, including Jones, who created a hostile work environment for Furr, as well as former board member Wayne McDaniels, who “regularly belittled (Furr) in meetings, personally ordering her to cease doing her normal duties, such as ‘acting as library spokesperson,’ as in her job description, despite the fact that the library board has the authority to make such changes in her responsibilities.”
Furr is seeking no less than $1 million in damages, according to the claim.