Nobles County library director terminated 'due to employee misconduct'

David Bradford, who took the Nobles County library director position in December 2019, was informed of his termination on Dec. 22.

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David Bradford is the new Nobles County Library Director. A native of Oregon, he worked remotely for the Pierre-based South Dakota State Library for three years before accepting the position in Worthington. He enjoys reading a variety of books, particularly those about the Civil War. (Julie Buntjer / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Nobles County Library Director David Bradford's employment has been terminated due to employee misconduct, and County Administrator Bruce Heitkamp will temporarily take on the library's administrative duties.

"I appreciate everyone’s support during this difficult time and ask that everyone be respectful to all parties involved," Heitkamp said Wednesday.

Bradford declined to comment on the matter on Wednesday.

Bradford, who was hired for the position in December 2019 , was notified of the termination on Dec. 22, and both the Nobles County Board of Commissioners and the Nobles County Library Board were informed shortly afterward, Heitkamp said.

Earlier this month, the county was alerted to a matter relating to Bradford, which was then subject to an investigation "not of a criminal nature," Heitkamp said at that time.


The county will begin reviewing its library director job description next week, with a vacancy notice being offered soon after.

Library director

Bradford had been working with consultants with Library Strategies on strategic planning for the county library , and had also begun gathering information for a potential renovation of the library's Worthington branch.

Bradford's tenure as library director has been marked by tensions with the Nobles County Friends of the Library , a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to supporting the library's needs with supplemental funding. Bradford reportedly said he would neither attend future meetings of the Friends of the Library, nor request any funding from the Friends of the Library in the future.

The Friends of the Library changed its bylaws to remove the library director from the Friends executive committee, among other changes including decreasing the size of its committees, removing restrictions on consecutive terms, reducing meeting frequency and having multiple Friends audit the group's finances instead of a CNA.

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

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