ALABAMA—Today we have two items fresh off the Alabama crime blotter. Seems the Birmingham Public Library is being sued for the second time by an employee upset about patrons viewing porn on the computers, and a man was arrested for the serial arson of several adult entertainment clubs in the Mobile area. Some people just don’t cotton to sex in the “Heart of Dixie” state, including, of course, the state Supreme Court.
In Birmingham, supervisor Karen Jackson is the second employee of the downtown library in two years to file a lawsuit against her employer, claiming “library patrons are looking at pornography on the Internet and management is doing nothing about it,” according to the local NBC affiliate, wrcbtv.com. “Jackson says in her lawsuit that patrons are routinely allowed to view pornography on library computers, often in the presence of children and that management has failed to address the matter.”
Adding a more tangible complaint to the porn viewing, Jackson also stated in her complaint that security officers at the library have engaged in “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
The previous lawsuit was brought in Sept. 2010 by a library assistant, Barbara Ann Wilson, who also alleged the library is a hostile workplace in which to work, complaining that “some patrons [were] openly viewing pornography on computers, groping her and performing lewd acts in front of staff or other patrons, including children,” according to the Birmingham News.
"It is increasingly difficult for the Plaintiff to come to the work place on a daily basis to be confronted with the obscene and sexual misconduct that is ongoing at the downtown branch of the Birmingham Public Library," read the complaint filed by Wilson’s attorney.
The Birmingham library employs a filtering system that is disabled if requested by an adult patron, but library policy also prohibits viewing “graphic sexual images that would be seen by children; viewing obscene material involving minors; viewing, downloading or transmitting pornographic materials or materials that encourage others to violate the law; transmitting harassing messages; and uploading computer viruses.”
Each employee went through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission process and was found to have the right to bring an action against the library.
In Mobile, Judson Eugene Tuggle, a.k.a. "Worm," was arrested following a nine month investigation by Mobile Fire Rescue and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, charged with six counts of arson after being indicted by a federal grand jury.
According to the local Fox affiliate, fox10tv.com, Worm “set fires at three adult entertainment clubs: Club Casino, The Candy Store and The Platinum Club.” Two employees at separate clubs were injured trying to put out the fires which a Mobile Fire Rescue spokesperson, Steve Huffman. He added the intent was to burn the places to the ground.
“We think there may be additional fires that didn't get reported or that we were called to because they were small and handled in house," Huffman said, adding, "If that’s the case, we'd like to hear from those places."
And the long hot sweltering Southern summer is only just getting underway.