SAYRE -- The attorney for former Sayre Theatre Manager Marjorie Ross claimed Monday that his client was forced out of her position by Bradford County Regional Arts Council Executive Director Elaine Poost.

"My client was forced out of her position under repeated harassment and duress by the current executive director of the BCRAC," attorney Frank J. Tunis Jr. of Scranton said. "My client has been a faithful and dedicated employee for the last two decades and looks forward to addressing this matter in the appropriate judicial forum if necessary."

The comments released by Tunis differ greatly from a statement released earlier in the day by the BCRAC Board of Directors.

That statement reads as follows:

"During a July 3 meeting with BCRAC Executive Director Elaine Poost, a BCRAC board member and a BCRAC volunteer, Sayre Theatre Manager Margie Ross unexpectedly tendered her resignation and turned in her theater keys. BCRAC did not fire nor force the resignation of Margie Ross from the Sayre Theatre. The resignation was completely unexpected and unsolicited."

"The BCRAC Board of Directors met to discuss the July 3 resignation and voted to accept Margie's resignation as received. An offer was made to her to continue with the 100th anniversary celebrations, including the Old Tyme Picnic scheduled for (Wednesday) and the 100th anniversary grand finale scheduled for Dec. 31, 2014. The offer was declined."

"The BCRAC Board of Directors acknowledges the wonderful work that Margie has done over the years to develop the Sayre Theatre into not just a movie theater, but also a community hub. The D'Rosa cinema in the Sayre Theatre, dedicated in July 2012, will forever bear the original name of Margie's family in honor of the work that she did."

"A search will soon get underway for a Sayre Theatre manager to help move the Sayre Theatre through the new era of digital technology and to work with the theater staff and community to honor the work started by Margie and ensure that the Sayre Theatre remains a vital part of the community."

Both statements come a day after an online petition was started on MoveOn.org that is aimed at Ross being re-instated as manager of the Sayre Theatre.

As of 6 p.m. Monday, 1,239 individuals have signed the petition.

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