Light Fingered Lincoln Librarian Gets the Ax

The head of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield has been fired after his second shoplifting arrest. Director Rick Beard had been on administrative leave since the arrest was made public last week.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich fired Beard on Tuesday. A state spokesman says Beard was notified by phone. Beard was arrested in August and charged with stealing $40 worth of DVDs from a Springfield Target store. The 61-year-old has pleaded not guilty. Chicago Tribune.

This was the press release announcing Beard's appointment two years ago. President Lincoln's Bicentennial is coming up shortly; I wonder what Beard's firing will mean for the celebration.

Update...from the AP: Jan Grimes, director of the Historic Preservation Agency, will run the Lincoln museum and library temporarily. Robert Coomer, a former director of Historic Preservation, will replace Beard at the foundation.


Librarians' get a little to much of that "information should be free" in their blood and then this happens.

What a LOSER, Does anyone know if he'll still get his State pension?

If the man does his job well, he should KEEP his job. Petty theft accusations (unproven, mind you) are only evidence of a personal problem, not condemnation of Mr.Beard's ability to be a good Lincoln librarian.

Betcha that the first to swing the ax on this man's neck are self-described Liberals, two-faced and self-righteous.

I think you're confusing liberals and anarchists.

Liberals tend to be even more likely to place ethics over business considerations, not less. Think boycotts and divestitures, for example.

He'll probably steal from the library.

What happened to "innocent until proven guilty?"

Innocence really doesn't matter if you are an at-will employer. They can fire whomever whenever they please, and have clearly chosen to do so. I think it's more an issue of reputation than guilt vs. innocent. And apparently this was not a one-time thing. How could you be "accidentally" implicated in shoplifting twice? Once maybe, but twice is hard to do.

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