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Library probe problematic

No one seems particularly happy about spending $30,000 of taxpayer money for an investigation into how #Black Lives Matter ended up in a diversity statement.

The amount sought by Douglas County Human Resources to hire an independent investigator is a significant portion of the library’s budget. It doesn’t require much scrutiny to see that agenda item doesn’t offer much information about the amount of money or scope of an investigation, a possible violation of the Nevada Open Meeting Law, though one had not been filed as of Tuesday, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Library trustees are appointed by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners for four-year terms. One of the trustees, Lisa Foley, resigned over the decision.

The library board has only met three times this year, but a review of their agendas and minutes shows the fuze was lit on the current crisis a year ago when a trustee suggested a diversity statement.

State library officials confirmed that the statement proposed at the Douglas library was similar to those being approved across the country.

So, it might appear the investigation is a means to dismiss Dodson for cause without having to face a federal lawsuit.

That might be a tough needle to thread.

We don’t have to be $30,000 investigators to know that while Black Lives Matter has been a concern for Douglas County’s conservative majority, that isn’t true for the state. The Attorney General not only spoke in support of the statement but repeated it in public comment.

We’ve reviewed the library’s bylaws and the county’s social media policy and there’s only the tiniest sliver that would seem to support firing Dodson.

But between the time the diversity statement was crafted and the point where it ignited its controversy, the federal government determined that support for Black Lives Matter isn’t prohibited by the Hatch Act, we anticipate her attorney arguing in court.

Losing that lawsuit will result in costing Douglas County and the library a lot more than $30,000.