Barry Holmes out as library CEO

Windsor Public Library CEO Barry Holmes will not return to work.
Library board chair Peter Frise said issues arose out of Barry Holmes' employment with the library that require closer examination. (CBC)

Windsor Public Library CEO Barry Holmes will not return to work.

Holmes has been on extended sick leave since the scandal involving library-issued credit cards broke more than six weeks ago.

The CEO's lawyer alleges Holmes has been "constructively dismissed."

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada describes constructive dismissal as "a situation where the employer has not directly fired the employee. Rather the employer has failed to comply with the contract of employment in a major respect, unilaterally changed the terms of employment or expressed a settled intention to do either thus forcing the employee to quit."

In a media release, Holmes' lawyer, Larry Belowus says his client's character "has been sullied beyond repair."

"Recently, Mr. Holmes has suffered from attacks on his character, integrity and abilities including by Windsor Public Library board members," Belowus wrote. "This is a classic example of how not to deal with an employee."

According to a statement by library chair Peter Frise, "the library board takes the position that Mr. Holmes has voluntarily resigned."

Frise said there were "issues that arose out of Mr. Holmes' employment with the library that require closer examination."

Frise did not elaborate in the statement and directed all further questions to lawyer George King. Frise added that if Holmes takes legal action against the library board, "such action will be vigorously defended."

As CEO, Holmes booked a trip to Chicago for former board chair Al Maghnieh on his corporate credit card. Holmes also signed off a library-issued credit card for Maghnieh, who then charged $8,400 in personal expenses to the card. Maghnieh paid the money and resigned.

Finance committee chair Alex Cameron also resigned.

Not long after the scandal broke, Holmes began calling in sick, providing a doctor's note each time.

Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis said the new board and council have been waiting weeks to question Holmes, since the trouble happened under his leadership.

"We have some questions and he chooses not to show up for work. All this time has gone by and he's now come forward and basically saying that he's going to sue us. I've never heard of anything more ridiculous," Francis said. ""God forbid that any chief executive officer be asked a few questions. I'll see you in court."