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Women claim $5M in reputational damage in new library tort

September 10, 2022

By Mike Weland

A tort claim for alleged violations of Idaho's free exercise of religion law was filed against the Boundary County Library this week by four women who allege religious discrimination and aver that a "coordinated smear campaign against them" by the library director and board has seriously stigmatized them in their small communities, and that they are now considered militant Christian fundamentalists.

Tiffany Nichols, Adrienne Norris, Donna Capurso and Fay Almond estimate they've suffered $5-million in damages for reputational damage and damage to their current and future business and employment opportunities.

The tort alleges that library policy, practice and custom permit the use of public resources and communication channels to "overtly suppress and target the religious beliefs of persons who voice religiously motivated objections to its Library selection content policies."

Saying their claim is prompted by their recall petition that began July 12, the claim asserts that, "Library functionaries retaliated against Petition Sponsors and against the Petition circulating volunteers. The retaliation consisted of an officially sanctioned and coordinated smear campaign targeting the Sponsors, Circulators, and supporters as 'militant Christian fundamentalists' among other things."

The claim cites as evidence library director Kimber Glidden's August 17 resignation letter, which reads, in part, "nothing in my background could have prepared me for the political atmosphere of extremism, militant Christian fundamentalism, intimidation tactics, and threatening behavior currently being employed in the community."

Kimber's last day at the Boundary County Library is today.

Also cited as evidence are a post on the library's website thanking the community for their show of support after the library sidewalks were festooned with colorful chalk pictures and words of encouragement and thanks, an article by Spokesman Review columnist Shawn Vestal, "The war on libraries roils 'the best small library in America' and a handful of Facebook posts, none of which name anyone or mention the library and one, indeed, in reference to the recently defeated School District 101 facilities levy.

"Library policy, practice, and/or custom of officially attacking dissenting citizen's religion and religious viewpoints," the claim reads, "violates Claimants' First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights, as well as Idaho's Free Exercise of Religion Laws."

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

What ever happened to “Turn the other cheek?” Seems like people are just looking for a free paycheck. Time to remember that if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and looks like a duck (figuratively) it might be that people will call you a duck!
Chuck Giordano
Bonners Ferry
Well, all I can say is, you must first “have” a reputation before you complain it has been destroyed. All I’ve heard is a bunch of moaning nd groaning. What have you ever done, since you rolled in here, but complain, complain, complain? If you are looking for the source of your problems ... go look in the mirror!
Gerald B. Higgs
Bonners Ferry
So you started a fight…people fought back. Now you’re crying “it’s not fair”. I suspect it was all about the money as insurance will pay you just to end it. You probably knew that going in. Wait…October 01 there is no insurance! So this is a backdoor way to shut it down? Mere speculation on my part. You know, that pesky first amendment.
Rosanne Smith
Moyie Springs
Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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