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Eugene White ‘changes mind,’ no longer supports Hayes as Indianapolis library CEO

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The newest member of the Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees has publicly declared his opposition to a popular choice for CEO.

Eugene White, a former superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools and the current interim principal at North Central High School, sat in on his first board meeting Monday night.

White told the audience watching Monday’s meeting that he initially supported Nichelle Hayes as the library system’s permanent leader, but that’s no longer the case.

“I changed my mind on that when I learned all the facts involved,” White said.

When asked about the new information that led him to change his mind, the former superintendent responded, “I can’t share them at this time.”

White said he is willing to share an email he sent to the board explaining his decision, but it’s not clear if or when that could happen.

Nichelle Hayes held the role of interim library CEO for nine months while leaders searched for a permanent CEO. She previously received support from community advocates as well as more than a dozen members of the City-County Council.

Protesters have demanded Hayes’ appointment since the search for a new leader began in September 2021, with community members telling News 8 they want Hayes in the position due to her previous experience within the Indianapolis library system.

Hayes has received the backing of several members of the board of trustees, including Stephen Lane, who introduced a resolution Monday to formally name Hayes as permanent CEO.

The board of trustees said in December that it planned to appoint a “new leader from the community” in early 2023.