Libraries director resigns, will reimburse county nearly $9K

{A href=""}BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) She had been under the microscope for weeks when it was revealed that the county auditor was investigating Kern County Library Director Diane Duquette use of county funds.

On Tuesday, Duquette agreed to voluntarily resign her post and reimburse the county $8,954.27 through payroll and vacation deductions. In return the county will not pursue disciplinary and legal action against her.

{A href="" target=_blank}Doc: Duquette's resignation agreement {>}{>}

"I think what this emphasizes is how important it is to make sure that government officials are held accountable for their conduct," said county counsel Theresa Goldner.

Goldner said the county initiated an extensive investigation that lasted months and covered a period of between 2009-2011. At issue was whether Duquette had used her county issued vehicle, gas card and cell phone for trips several Duquette made for job interviews in Chula Vista, Contra Costa and Arcadia.

"We went through cell phone records, gas records, calendars ... everything that we could get our hands on to find out what in fact was owed to the county," said Goldner.

{A href="" target=_blank}Doc: What she owes Kern County {>}{>}

Among the items for which Duquette will reimburse the county are numerous trips for job interviews. Duquette paid for gas by using her county-funded gas card. Duquette will reimburse the county $473 for a job interview in Chula Vista on August 4 and again on August 19, 2009.

Another job interview to Contra Costa on Oct. 27-28, 2010 cost the county $324. On November 10 Duquette made a side trip from a conference in Sacramento to Contra Costa, costing the county $26.50.

And then on Nov. 19, 2010, another trip to a Contra Costa retirement dinner was billed at $324.

On May 17, 2011, Duquette went for a job interview In Arcadia, for which she will reimburse the county $98.94.

Other items include lodging and meals and personal cell phone use of a county issued phone.

Under the agreement, Duquette and the county agree not to take legal action against each other. Under the terms of the agreement, the bulk of the reimbursement to the county will come from 20 vacation days that will be deducted from Duquette. She will have $818.27 deducted from her final pay check to reimburse the county for use of a county issued cell phone, use of county owned vehicle and certain travel reimbursement claims.

Duquette's resignation takes effect on March 23. The Kern County Board of Supervisors appointed Sherry Gomez as interim director.