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New Orleans library director resigns after WWL-TV questions his residency; see statement

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New Orleans Public Library
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New Orleans Public Library director Gabriel Morley resigned from his position Nov. 11, 2021, after a WWL-TV reporter asked him about his residency.

Just two days after giving a budgetary outlook for the New Orleans Public Library to the City Council, the library director resigned Wednesday after WWL-TV inquired about his residency in the city.

Channel 4 reporter David Hammer emailed Gabriel Morley, who took over as the director of NOPL in 2020, and the mayor’s office about his residency in the city, which is required for city employees, and a Declaration of Domicile form that all city employees are required to file. Hammer reported finding documents that showed Morley owning a home with his wife in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

After receiving the email on Wednesday, Morley emailed his resignation hours later with the following statement:

“Today is my last day at NOPL. I have enjoyed my time at the library, and we have accomplished some major achievements like the 10-year strategic plan. We have also overcome some significant challenges like the pandemic. NOPL is positioned well for a lot of future success. Good luck to all in the future.”

A spokesperson for the city also gave WWL-TV a statement that said “the Library Board of Directors thanks Dr. Gabriel Morley for his two years of service to the New Orleans Public Library. Under Dr. Morley’s leadership, we developed a strategic plan that will propel the library forward, and we appreciate his contributions to our system and our city.”

Morley presented a budgetary plan for the library to the City Council on Monday and said a Dec. 11 millage would be necessary for the library to continue operating as it is. Morley also found himself in hot water after a member of the library's board accused him of spreading misinformation about Cantrell planning to cut the library's budget in early 2021.

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