The Hendersonville Police Department reported Thursday that a Connecticut man had been taken into custody by the Connecticut State Police as the suspect for threats made against the Hendersonville Public Library, where its director Allan Morales was recently fired.
Hendersonville Police responded on Tuesday to a report of threatening messages referencing death and blowing up the building, with their investigation revealing at least 14 emails coming from the same account over a relatively short period.
After Hendersonville Police (HPD) quickly identified a suspect, with the “extraordinary cooperation of the Connecticut State Police,” according to the HPD report.
On Wednesday, warrants were obtained by an HPD detective charging Marlborough, Connecticut resident Mark H. Frakl, age 49, with False Report (Bomb Threat) and Harassment.
Later that same day, Frakl was taken into custody by members of the Connecticut State Police and is being held on a charge of Fugitive From Justice pending extradition to Sumner County. Frakl is being held on a $500,000 bond, according to Connecticut State Police.
Investigators have revealed no ties between Frakl and entities within the state of Tennessee.
In February, Kirk Cameron announced he would go on a multi-library Christian story hour tour to “take back the hearts and minds of children in the county,” The Daily Signal reported.
On Wednesday, the library board of trustees was set to meet to address the only item on the agenda, the Cameron event, which was held on February 25.
Hendersonville, Tennessee, was on Cameron’s list for an event alongside Duck Dynasty’s Missy Robertson and women’s sports advocate Riley Gaines scheduled for February 25 at the public library. Days before, there was an attempt to change the venue under the guise of a crowd size surpassing the library’s capacity and parking issues.
Behind the scenes leading up to the event, however, Morales and some staff members were later reported as being “rude” by several people involved with the tour.
The events of that day and the results of an investigation were summarized at the library board meeting and further detailed in a Facebook post by County Commissioner Tim Jones (District 23). Jones attended the story hour and assisted that day but was not directly involved in its planning.
During an interview with Jones after the event, Morales said he would not do anything differently if he had it all to do over again.
Several public members spoke on both sides of the issue during the public recognition portion of the Wednesday Library Board meeting, The Tennessee Star reported.
At the time, the threats against the library had already been publicized, and the insinuation was that those in favor of the firing of Morales were behind the calls for violence.
Morales attended the library board meeting standing and pacing in the back of the commission chambers, but he did not avail himself of the opportunity to go on record with an apology or commitment for improvement.
After hearing public comments, the library board went into an executive session for about 30 minutes and then voted 4 to 3 to terminate Morales.
One other library staff member in particular, identified to Jones by another library staff member under the condition of remaining anonymous, has been implicated in the ill-treatment of those involved with Cameron’s story hour.
However, the library board has the authority in its bylaws to hire and fire only directors of the county’s five libraries.
A review of the bylaws was listed on a revised agenda for Wednesday’s Library Board meeting. However, the agenda was released without adequate public notice, so the bylaws were not taken up.
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Laura Baigert is a senior reporter with The Star News Network, where she covers stories for The Tennessee Star.
Background Photo “Hendersonville Public Library of Sumner County” by Hendersonville Public Library of Sumner County.