An assistant librarian blew the whistle on a patron who is accused of downloading child porn. But she didn't stop there. She speaks out against the higher-ups who, she says, tried to sweep the incident under the rug.
Assistant Library Director, Carla Wessels, alleges her boss tried to delete the images and keep the incident quiet, by not reporting it.
"She kept saying over and over, the police are going to want to know a name. And she told me to just relax," Wessels says.
And that's when she decided to blow the whistle. It was 3 days later on a Monday morning.
"First thing when I got in, in the morning, I went into her office, and said pretty much the same thing when I called her Friday night. And she gave me the same response that the police are going to want to know a name and she even brought up the Patriot Act saying that as a library, we need to keep patrons names and addresses confidential," Wessels says.
Fearing the incident would never be reported, Wessels called police. Holyoke's Cyber Crimes unit seized the computer.
Hours later, the images Maria deleted were resurrected. The photos were brought back to life and the man who allegedly surfed for them was identified.
"What about the allegations that you told the librarians not to do anything about it," we asked.
"That's what they're saying, I'm not going to say either way," Pagan says.
The Library Director still would not admit timing was an issue.
"The police was called, right," Pagan says. "The person was caught, so time doesn't matter," she states.
But Police Chief Anthony Scott says timing is everything.
"If they deleted files, it would've caused problems, but because of the actions of the assistant librarian, we were able to get the info and secure the computer," Scott says.
Our investigation discovered no changes at the library. Sex offender posters are not put up. There are no new firewalls in the library computers, nor are there any new policies for dealing with illegal activities.
Remarkably, I predicted both. See, emphasis in original:
- "Library Delays Child Porn Incident Report; Holyoke Public Library Director Maria G Pagan Lies to Hide the Truth From the Public," 16 June 2009:
"Citizens of Holyoke need to ask whether the library director is violating the public trust by looking the other way at criminal activity in the public library. That seems to be the case, at least as I understand what was reported."
- "Child Porn Trafficking in Public Libraries; Libraries Actively Thwart Child Porn Investigations," 24 June 2009:
"[I]t seems unavoidable to conclude that libraries actively thwart child porn investigations. And it seems this is motivated by the ALA's negative reaction to Bush Administration initiatives to keep Americans safe from terrorists!"
How much longer will Holyoke allow an apparent law breaker to run the library? Isn't there enough evidence to have Holyoke Public Library Director Maria Pagan arrested as an accessory to the crime of child pornography? Did you watch the video and see her continue her cover-up? At least that's my opinion.
Is opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act really a reason to allow child porn viewers to get off scot free? Is that what the community wants, or is that the American Library Association's radical agenda being quietly forced on local communities?
When will communities wake up? Wake up!
UPDATE 21 JULY 2009: Apparently, this community woke up a little. See "Holyoke Library Installs Anti-Porn Software in Wake of Michael Houle's Recent Arrest," by Mike Plaisance, The Republican Newsroom, 20 July 2009. Notice the story of the librarian's outing of the library director's actions to protect the child porn viewer is further expanded.