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Suit against library, its director settled

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Saturday, July 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A lawsuit filed earlier this year by a former employee against Uniontown Public Library and its director, alleging political discrimination and violation of the state whistle-blower act, has been settled out of court.

Pittsburgh attorney Edward A. Olds filed the suit against Lynne Santoliquido Singer Tharan in January on behalf of Vicki Leonelli of Uniontown. The suit also named the city of Uniontown.

Leonelli had sought a jury trial.

In the lawsuit, she said Tharan, library director since 2008, brought her “politics, her political views and prejudices to the library.”

After complaining to a city councilman about “endless political harassment” and to a library board member that Tharan “permitted vulgarities (and) allowed homeless people to camp out in the library,” she was fired, Leonelli said.

The suit stated she was dismissed for being “insubordinate.”

Her political affiliation and “whistle-blowing activity” led to her firing, Leonelli's suit alleged.

Olds did not return a request for comment on Friday.

Pittsburgh attorney Samuel Foreman represented the library, the city and Tharan in the suit.

A spokeswoman for his law firm, Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires and Newby, confirmed the settlement but said the order had not yet been signed and declined comment.

Settlement details were not included in an online settlement document filed with U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

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