UPDATE: No trespass order against former Watertown Library Director to be lifted this weekend  (Audio)

July 5, 2022
Mike Tanner


WATERTOWN, S.D.–A trespass order that prevents former Watertown Library Director Dede Whitman from being in the library, or on the library grounds, will be lifted this weekend.


The Watertown Library Board met today (Tuesday), and on a 4-1 vote, approved Dan Schutte’s motion to let Whitman back in the library, as a patron only, beginning Saturday July 9th.


The board accepted Whitman’s resignation at their May 10th meeting. That was followed by the tresspass order being put into place, based on concerns from several library employees.


The order was extended for an additional 30 days at the board’s June 7th meeting.


At today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting, the board met in executive session for more than 30 minutes, hearing from Whitman.


Interim Library Director Maria Gruener addressed the board following the executive session…


Gruener says one of the reasons for going into executive session was to discuss whether concerns one particular library employee had with Whitman have been resolved or not…


Prior to the motion to drop the no trespass order this weekend, Gruener told the board what she wants to see from Whitman…


Then Whitman spoke to the board…


Whitman will be allowed back in the library starting Saturday.


Gruener says if necessary, she can put the no trespass order back into place without board approval.


City Attorney Matt Roby told the board if issues with Withman continue going forward, the police, “are only a phone call away.”


Jean Moulton was the only board member who voted against lifting the no trespass order.


The issues between Whitman and staff members have never been made public. Roby declined to discuss those issues with KWAT News, citing it as a personnel matter that needs to remain confidential.