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Bronxville Mayor Reflects on Library Suit

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin tackled the issue of a pending lawsuit against herself and the village at a board meeting Tuesday night.  Although she said she and the board has been urged by Village Attorney James Staudt not to speak about the pending litigation, she said the village plans to vigorously defend its actions of granting and then rescinding a raise to Laura Eckley, director of the village library.

"I am positive justice will prevail," Marvin said Tuesday. "To be candid, it has not been easy to hold my tongue, especially in the wake of personal attacks.  But I ask all of you to reserve judgment until all of the facts have been unveiled."

Eckley filed a suit last month, questioning actions of the village board, which, her suit says, unanimously approved to give her an $18,500 raise in October that was accompanied by a glowing letter from the library board praising her performance as director.

Less than a month later, at the November village board meeting, the board voted to rescind the raise and replace it with a $3,500 raise and a $7,406 stipend to be paid to Eckley over a six month period, roughly $7,000 less than the amount the village board previously approved.

Eckley has declined comment but her attorney, Anthony Pirotti, said earlier this month that his client did not seek the raise from the village, she “was rewarded a raise by the board because of the very good job she does.”

Eckley has worked at the Bronxville Library for nine years and was named acting director in 2009. She became the permanent director in 2010.  She supervises approximately 31 employees, oversaw 750 programs and events at the library in 2011.

When she was made probationary director, Eckley was paid $81,640, according to court documents. Those same documents state that her promotion to director would bring a salary increase to $100,000, putting her into the same salary bracket as other department heads in the village.

While everyone at last week’s library board meeting refused to discuss the matter, former library board president, Sean Abbott said he was embarrassed by the actions of the village.

"I support the library and this whole incident is inexplicable," Abbott said last week. "I don't understand how it happened and why it happened, and I was in the room.”

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