County Law Librarian Terminated After Police Found Library Client Had Been Helped To Converse With A Minor Online Via Library Computers

Not exactly her fault but the moral of the story is check what your library computers are being used for, especially if you are actively helping.


The (Texas) Herald Democrat reports


A man who was caught in the Grayson County Courthouse late last week led to the termination Wednesday of a woman who sought to help him. District Attorney Joe Brown announced that he had terminated county law librarian Virginia Eldridge after an investigation into the incident.

Eldridge, Brown said in the news release, had allowed Joshua Barrier to stay in the Grayson County Law Library after hours for a couple of months before he was found there by police on April 28 at 12:30 a.m. Brown said both Barrier and Eldridge were cooperative with officials as they investigated the incident. It was what officials found out about what Barrier was doing while in the library that led to Eldridge’s dismissal.

“Barrier has a lengthy criminal history, including a conviction for burglary and multiple convictions for theft,” Brown said. “Officers found Barrier in the law library and personal items indicating that he had been using a public access computer terminal.”

Barrier told deputies that Eldridge had allowed him to stay in the library after hours but because they were unable to immediately confirm that statement with Eldridge, deputies arrested Barrier for criminal trespass. He was released a short time later when Eldridge confirmed that she had allowed him to stay in the library.

The D.A.’s office conducted an administrative review of the incident, and Eldridge again admitted to allowing Barrier, who was a frequent user of the law library, to stay after hours, unsupervised, so that he could complete legal research. Eldridge said she had allowed attorneys to remain in the law library past closing in the past as well.

“The initial report from the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office and Sherman Police Department to the DA’s Office was that no evidence was recovered in the April 28th incident that indicated that Barrier had committed any criminal offense during his times of unsupervised access to the Grayson County Courthouse,” Brown said.

Barrier allowed investigators to review the file box and paperwork that he had with him in the law library, and investigators found only paperwork related to Barrier’s legal cases which he was researching, Brown said. However, they also found a copy of a social security card of another individual and a driver’s license of a different individual, neither of which were Barrier.

“It is undetermined at this point what connection, if any, the individuals were to Barrier,” Brown said.