I just don’t know what to make of this controversy.

Child Care of the Berkshires Executive Director Anne Nemetz-Carlson has fired Richard Leja, the longtime director of the Williams College Children’s Center, despite protests from some parents and two staff members who quit over the decision.

Leja was fired Friday afternoon. He had been employed by the Child Care of the Berkshires agency for 35 years, including 15 years as director of the day-care center here.

He was unavailable for comment Monday.

“The reasons that Anne Nemetz-Carlson gave for firing him do not resonate with the parents and staff who worked with him day in and day out,” wrote Ronadh Cox, a parent and Williams College professor, in an e-mail from Ireland yesterday. “There was never a more gentle, caring soul, with the best interests of the children firmly at heart. He gave decades of work to CCB. … After that, to summarily fire him in such a demeaning, insulting way was unwarranted.”

After the firing Friday, Nemetz-Carlson, whose office is in North Adams, called North Adams Police at 3:10 p.m. and said she thought that Leja had left her office “irate.” She said she was worried that he might “do harm to the building,” according to the police blotter. No police were dispatched in response to her call.

Strange stuff.

Williamstown resident Edward Gollin, whose daughter is enrolled in kindergarten at the center in the fall, criticized the letter to parents from Nemetz-Carlson.

“We don’t have any faith that review process was thorough,” said Gollin, also an assistant professor at Williams College. “We don’t find her letter convincing or comforting. We also don’t sense that the board of directors is fulfilling any real oversight over this agency.”

Gollin said he placed his daughter at the center based on the recommendations of other parents who love Leja’s leadership style. “Dick was one of the most gentle, kind people you’ll ever know,” he said. “He knew every child in the day care by name, and the children loved him.”

It isn’t clear to me what relationship, if any, the College has with the Williams College Children’s Center, other then name. Does the College subsidize the center? Does it use College property?

There must be a story behind the story here.

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