Office of the Attorney General
500 S 2nd St
Springfield, IL 62706
Re: Request for Review for Violation of OMA
Dear Ms. Pratt,
I hereby submit this Request for Review by the Public Access Counselor (PAC) regarding possible Open Meetings Act (OMA) violations by the Board of Library Trustees (BLT) of the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL), Orland Park, IL, on both 16 December 2013 and 12 February 2014. I am submitting this Request within the required time limit for both dates.
BLT-OPPL meetings were held 16 December 2013 and 12 February 2014. I was not allowed to speak at the December meeting, even having my name removed from the speakers list by the BLT, then the February meeting occurred with inadequate notice to the public, during a legal holiday, public participation was not allowed, and, over the objection of at least one BLT member, a policy was approved to silence me specifically and the public generally, and that discriminates against the disabled and the financially challenged in a manner that enshrines unequal access, none of which is reasonable nor consistent with the intent of the OMA.
Legal and Factual Background:
OPPL was created by Village of Orland Park Ordinance No. 77 issued 14 July 1941 stating “That a free public library and reading room be established for the use and benefits of the inhabitants of the Village of Orland Park … in accordance with the provisions of the Libraries Act, Chapter 81, Illinois Revised Statutes….” ( http://www.orlandparklibrary.org/documents/policies/ord77.pdf )
The Illinois Local Library Act is codified at 75 ILCS 5. ( http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=990&ChapterID=16 )
Sec. 1-3 states, “Every library established under this Act shall be forever for the use of the residents and taxpayers of the city, village, incorporated town or township where located, subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as the library board may adopt in order to render the use of the library of the greatest benefit to the greatest number of such residents and taxpayers.”
Sec. 2-2 states, “To provide local public institutions of general education for citizens of Illinois, the citizens residing in a village, incorporated town or township without local library service may establish and maintain a public library for the use and benefit of the residents of the respective village, incorporated town or township as herein provided.”
Sec. 2-7 states, “Dissolution for failure to perform duties. (a) If the board of trustees of a public library established under this Act has failed to perform its duties and functions under this Act, then a petition for dissolution … may be filed…. The petition must … (iii) set forth sufficient facts establishing that, within the 3-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition, the board of trustees: … (3) failed to perform the duties and functions imposed by law.”
Sec. 4-1.1 states, “Term of office; removal. …. (b) The mayor may remove any trustee in the manner provided in Section 3.1-35-10 of the Illinois Municipal Code.”
Sec. 4-7 states, “Each board of library trustees of a … village … shall carry out the spirit and intent of this Act in establishing, supporting and maintaining a public library or libraries for providing library service and, in addition to but without limiting other powers conferred by this Act, shall have the following powers: 1. To make and adopt such bylaws, rules and regulations, for their own guidance and for the government of the library as may be expedient, not inconsistent with this Act;….”
Sec. 4-7.2 states, “The board of library trustees shall establish, and review at least biennially, a written policy for the selection of library materials and the use of library materials and facilities. No employee may be disciplined or dismissed for the selection of library materials when the selection is made in good faith and in accordance with the written policy required to be established pursuant to this Section.”
Sec. 4-9 states, “[T]he board of trustees may require the treasurer or custodian to secure for the library an insurance policy or other insurance instrument that provides the library with coverage for negligent or intentional acts by library officials and employees that could result in the loss of library funds.”
The Illinois Municipal Code is codified at 65 ILCS 5. Sec. 3.1-35-10 states, “Mayor or president; removal of appointed officer. Except where otherwise provided by statute, the mayor or president may remove any officer appointed by the mayor or president under this Code, on any written charge, whenever the mayor or president is of the opinion that the interests of the municipality demand removal.” ( http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=006500050HArt%2E+3%2E1+Div%2E+35&ActID=802&ChapterID=14&SeqStart=39900000&SeqEnd=42800000 )
OPPL Bylaws of the Board of Library Trustees, Policy and Procedure Manual Section A 3 last updated 17 May 2010 states, “The Orland Park Public Library was established by Public Referendum on April 30, 1941 and will be conducted as a public library, in accordance with statutes of the State of Illinois for the use and benefit of the Village of Orland Park. …. The Orland Park Library Board of Library Trustees recognizes that the implementation of library facilities shall include three basic goals: 1. The provision of materials suited to the needs of the community as they become evident, designed to provide information, entertainment, and personal development; 2. The encouragement within the community of intellectual and cultural pursuits through the direction and active participation in suitable programs for all age groups; and 3. The maintenance and development of adequate facilities and personnel to accomplish the first two goals. …. Meetings: Board meetings will be held on the third Monday of the month in the meeting room of the library. Notice will be posted in the library and published in local newspaper as prescribed by law. All meetings are open to the public. …. Special meetings may be called by the president of the Board of Library Trustees to consider one or more items of business specified in the call of the meeting. Notice of time, place and exact purpose of the meeting must be sent to the members and posted in the library as prescribed by law.” ( http://www.orlandparklibrary.org/documents/policies/board_bylaws.htm )
In or around October 2013, OPPL patrons Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan learned the library allows Internet pornography.
Subsequent research by Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan revealed OPPL suffers from multiple sex crimes caused by the porn viewing, including child pornography, and that a portion of these crimes are not reported to the police. ( Child Porn Accessed At Orland Park Public Library, Staff Doesn’t Believe Witnesses; Not Even Child Pornography Moves the Orland Park Public Library to Notify Authorities http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/11/01/child-porn-accessed-at-orland-park-public-library-staff-doesnt-believe-witnesses/ )
For many months OPPL sought to silence Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan so as to continue to make pornography available.
For example, the library maligned them on the top of its home page on the Internet. ( Library Publicly Shames Patrons Who Report Porn http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2013/12/LibraryShamesPatrons.html )
The library even made up supposed crimes and reported these to the police. ( To Harass and Punish: Library Uses Police Against Megan Fox for Reporting Library Porn http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2014/01/OPPLharassesMeganFox.html ) ( Library Uses Police to Censor and Intimidate Mom for Advising Librarians to File EEOC Complaints for Unfiltered Porn Resulting in Sexual Harassment http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2013/11/LibraryUsesPolice.html )
BLT-OPPL invited the American Library Association (ALA) to speak at its November 2013 meeting.
Despite BLT-OPPL policy, ALA was allowed to 1) speak over the time limit and 2) have two speakers speak.
The first ALA speaker was Barbara Jones.
She materially misled the BLT-OPPL and the general public, basically by implying blocking Internet porn from libraries violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution. ( ALA Misleads on Internet Pornography in Libraries http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2013/11/ALAMisleads.html ) ( Barbara Jones Transcript: ALA and FTRF Mislead Orland Park Public Library http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2013/12/BarbaraJones.html )
United States v. American Library Association, 539 U.S. 194 (2003), ruled, “public libraries' use of Internet filtering software does not violate their patrons' First Amendment rights….” ( http://laws.findlaw.com/us/539/194.html )
What ALA advised BLT-OPPL and the public generally is the exact opposite of the holding of US v. ALA. ALA was the losing party in US v. ALA. There is no way it can be ignorant of the law it failed to defeat.
The US v. ALA Court based its decision on a number of findings. 1) Libraries have traditionally blocked porn, so using computer filters to block Internet porn raises no constitutional alarms. 2) Libraries are not open public fora where anything goes. Rather, they are limited public fora so the government has every right to restrict certain speech that may otherwise be unlimited in open public fora, and that includes Internet pornography. 3) Internet filters are the best means to curtail porn. Other potentially less restrictive means such as moving furniture or using privacy screens not only do not work to stop porn but they actually make the problem worse.
After making the above determination that applies to all public libraries throughout the USA, the Court then examined the issue of whether the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was constitutional. Based on the above, the Court found the law was constitutional. Therefore, libraries obtaining E-rate funding under CIPA must comply with CIPA and filter all computers. Libraries that do not receive such funding need not filter, but such filtering would not violate the First Amendment whether or not the library accepts E-rate funding under CIPA.
The CIPA legislation was written by Ernest Istook and signed into law in 2000 by President William J. Clinton.
CIPA’s author explained in detail how ALA intentionally misleads local populations to choose not to filter out porn from library computers, and he named me as a “trusted source” on the misinformation the ALA uses to convince communities to continue to allow porn in their public libraries and inappropriate material in their school libraries. ( CIPA Author Exposes ALA Deception; Ernest Istook Who Authored Children's Internet Protection Act Calls Out American Library Association for Using Legal Tactics to Claim First Amendment Protection for Public Library Pornography Viewing, Causing Librarians to Be Indifferent and Leave Children Unprotected http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2012/02/cipa-author-exposes-ala-deception.html ) ( Children's Internet Protection Act Author Ernest Istook Interviewed http://tinyurl.com/ErnestIstookInterview )
Because ALA appeared at the November 2013 BLT-OPPL meeting and materially misled the community, I thought it would be fair that I appear at the next meeting, December 2013, to advise on the issues so the BLT-OPPL and the general community could hear another point of view that would allow them to make an informed decision for themselves based on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
I reside in New Jersey. I lack the funds needed to attend the December 2013 meeting in Illinois in person.
On 14 December 2013, I emailed OPPL Director Mary Weimar requesting permission to speak at the upcoming meeting, saying, “I request permission to speak at Monday's library board meeting. I wish to speak via Skype as I am located in New Jersey. I am Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries named as a ‘trusted source’ on various library filtering matters and how the American Library Association misleads communities by Ernest Istook, the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act. As ALA spoke last meeting and made materially false factual and legal statements having the effect of stating the opposite of the law, a true inquiry into what's legally doable in the library should include someone with knowledge to counter the false information. The point is people should make a decision based on accurate knowledge of the law, not based on a false view by the losing party in the case that allowed libraries to filter out porn without violating the First Amendment. I can provide that balance. Please grant my request to speak at the meeting. Please allow me to speak for the same length of time as ALA spoke, namely, Jones and Caldwell-Stone.”
On 15 December 2013, I emailed the library director again, this time providing her with more detail about what I would say.
On 16 December 2013, the library director responded, “The library is unable to accommodate your request.”
On 16 December 2013, I emailed the library director requesting reconsideration of her decision and advising that I had contacted the technical people within the library and had been told the library was in fact able to accommodate my request, indeed it would be easy. I added my further involvement in this matter, including my appearance in the Chicago Tribune and the Examiner, and how ALA, one of the very speakers at the November 2013 meeting, had directly responded to me in the Examiner by fabricating facts in response to me being quoted as saying no library has yet been sued for blocking pornography. ( ALA Admits Libraries Have Never Been Sued for Blocking Porn http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2013/11/NeverBeenSued.html )
On 16 December 2013, the library director responded, “The library is not going to accommodate your request.”
At the meeting, I was attending via Skype on Megan Fox’s iPhone, so I would not have consumed any of the library’s resources were I to speak. For example, I was introduced to Linda Zec, the OPPL former employee who after years of silence finally revealed how the library allowed porn, how porn viewing patrons treated her, and how the library director said if you don’t like the porn policy, you could simply quit. ( Liars and Tigers and Porn... Oh My! http://itsjustlinda.blogspot.com/2013/11/liars-and-tigers-and-porn-oh-my.html ) ( Liars and Tigers and Porn, Oh My! http://itsjustlinda.blogspot.com/2014/02/liars-and-tigers-and-porn-oh-my.html ) So all the BLT-OPPL had to do was simply listen to me for the time I would have been allowed to speak.
I was added to the list of speakers at the December 2013 meeting. I do not know by whom but it is likely by Megan Fox or Kevin DuJan.
BLT-OPPL had my name removed and replaced with Thomas Kusmider of Orland Park who “expressed his beliefs that the library is a very safe place and the number of obscene/criminal incidences over the years is very small when looking at the millions who have been in the library. He also questioned what steps the Board will take to ensure the rights of patrons who have been photographed or defamed without their knowledge while on library grounds.” ( http://www.orlandparklibrary.org/documents/trustees/minutes12_13.pdf ) They replaced someone who would say the truth that the law says blocking porn does not violate the First Amendment with someone who praised the BLT-OPPL and minimized the reported and unreported sex crimes. If a library allows porn, naturally crimes will occur, and one way to hide that from the public is simply to not report the crimes to the police. Thomas Kusmider fit that narrative well, so BLT-OPPL removed me and replaced me with him. Another way to hide the harm done by porn in the library, by the way, is to destroy the computer evidence of crimes occurring, and OPPL destroys such records on a regular basis.
I was not allowed to speak at the December 2013 meeting.
To my knowledge, no other person before or after that meeting attempted to speak at meetings via electronic means, other than the trustees themselves.
The 12 February 2014 meeting occurred without adherence to OMA notice requirements nor BLT-OPPL policy. The entire meeting can be viewed on YouTube, courtesy former library employee Linda Zec ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bjm_A0ozVmM )
As a result of the lack of notice in violation of the OMA, I was not able to attempt to attend the meeting, whether in person or via electronic means.
BLT-OPPL would not accept public comment at the February meeting from anyone, let alone me.
BLT-OPPL Policy and Procedure Manual Section A 3.1 last updated 12 February 2014 states, “The following rules shall govern speakers who address the Board: … All public comments must be given in person. No telephone, video conferencing or other electronic means will be accommodated. …. Village of Orland Park residents will be given priority to speak.”
As I am the only person to have attempted to speak electronically who was not a trustee, it is evident BLT-OPPL created that new policy to block me personally from speaking by requiring, “All public comments must be given in person. No telephone, video conferencing or other electronic means will be accommodated. …. Village of Orland Park residents will be given priority to speak.”
BLT-OPPL has created policy to principally address a single person, me.
A policy that prevents electronic participation, in a time when electronic participation is easy and even the library’s technical staff admitted as much, violates the spirit and letter on the OMA law, in my opinion.
The policy suffers from the following possible defects and perhaps more. 1) It is was created to preclude attendance by a single person, namely, me. 2) It provides unequal access to those who do have the financial means to attend in person. 3) It discriminates against those who are disabled and cannot otherwise attend in person. 4) It gives priority to local residents although OMA makes this an inappropriate goal.
The Board specifically wrote the new rule on the advice of their lawyers, likely because the lawyers saw that the Board should not have blocked me from speaking in December 2013 and should not have removed my name from the speakers list and replace it with someone who supports porn in the library.
Further, that the new policy precludes electronic participation necessarily means such participation was not previously precluded by policy. I should have been about to speak in December 2013. I was blocked from speaking in December 2013 by the failure to follow policy and the failure to comply with the OMA. It appears now I will be blocked from participating electronically forever.
I am the nation’s leading expert on how ALA misleads communities, according to the author of the CIPA, Ernest Istook. ALA spoke in Orland Park at the previous month’s Board meeting and implied porn is a First Amendment right in libraries. Yet ALA itself lost on that very point when the US Supreme Court ruled the exact opposite in 2003. I cannot afford to make personal appearances like ALA does and did in Orland Park. My only way to participate is electronically. I view the new policy as directed at me specifically and the public generally. It represents unequal access where those who can afford to appear in person are allowed to speak but those who cannot afford to appear in person may not. One would think hearing from experts on issues should outweigh policy that limits free speech to only those experts having sufficient financial resources to make personal visits, particularly in a day and age where electronic attendance is so prevalent that the means for such attendance exists on nearly everyone’s smart phone. Indeed, at the very meeting that created the new policy that blocked my future participation, one of the trustees was attending the meeting via teleconference. I doubt the OMA allows a Board to invent rules to target an individual.
Had BLT-OPPL allowed me to speak in December 2013, I would have been able to advise the Board and the community that local and state law precludes Internet pornography in Illinois libraries, including the OPPL, and that the Village government has the right and duty to intercede. I believe this is why BLT-OPPL silenced me and removed me from the speakers list at that December meeting in violation of the OMA. The local ordinance that created the library, the state code defining libraries, and the library's own policy all preclude pornography, especially when viewed in conjunction with US v. ALA. All talk about the "use and benefit" of the library. As US v. ALA pointed out, libraries have always blocked porn; clearly porn is not part of the "use and benefit" of a library. The state law says “Each board of library trustees … shall carry out the spirit and intent of this Act in establishing, supporting and maintaining a public library [and] shall have the ... power[ to set policy], not inconsistent with this Act." Pornography is inconsistent with the Act and the Board lacks the power to allow porn, except to the extent it can mislead people into thinking it is a First Amendment right. The BLT-OPPL is acting outside the law by allowing Internet pornography. The law gives the Village the power to act to force the library to come into compliance with the law.
I am not making that argument here nor using this forum to make that argument. I am saying that here to support my Request for Relief under the OMA law as is illustrates why BLT-OPPL blocked me, to prevent my saying just that and more. Just as BLT-OPPL blocked information about sex crimes from reaching the police, it is now blocking information about the illegality of pornography in Illinois public libraries and OPPL specifically from reaching the public, only this time it is a violation of the OMA.
I even offered to attend via a means that would not have utilized any library resources whatsoever, namely, via FaceTime on the iPhone of Megan Fox. Rules made up in February 2014 to preclude my speaking in December 2013, and rules that prevent participation in a manner that blocks the disabled or blocks equity of access based merely on the financial means of the speaker are neither reasonable nor consistent with OMA intent.
Also, I am certain OMA prohibits boards from giving speaking preference to Orland Park residents. The Vermillion, for example, said residency cannot be used as a point of reference ( AG Confirms Vermilion County Board Violated Open Meetings Act http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2014/01/ag-confirms-vermilion-county-board-violated-open-meetings-act/ ). So a “Public Comment Policy” that states, “Village of Orland Park residents will be given priority to speak” violates the OMA. My being removed from the December 2013 speakers list to be replaced with an Orland Park resident violates the OMA.
Further, the preclusion of electronic participation discriminates against the disabled. OPPL has an “Americans with Disabilities Act Statement” but precluding electronic participation would likely violate the ADA. That is further evidence that the library has violated the OMA as OMA would not abide public accommodations violating the ADA.
So the library director, in repeatedly denying me the right to speak at the December meeting, made an immediate arbitrary decision, putting unestablished and unrecorded rules in place for public comments, stating that I would not be allowed to speak. As I informed the director of exactly what I was likely to say (about it being perfectly legal to block porn from public libraries), I believe the director was intentionally stifling my speech to prevent people from hearing the exact opposite of what she and the Board has been misleading the community into believing, namely, that people have a First Amendment right to porn in public libraries, which they do not.
The OMA at 5 ILCS 120/2.06(g) provides, "Any person shall be permitted an opportunity to address public officials under the rules established and recorded by the public body." There was no language preventing electronic participation in December 2013. The library director made an arbitrary and extemporaneous decision to not follow the rules established and recorded by the BLT-OPPL. The policy was later amended in February 2014 to permanently preclude me from participating electronically, evidencing that I was improperly blocked in December 2013 or no new policy would have been needed.
Further, the 12 February 2014 meeting occurred without adherence to OMA notice requirements nor BLT-OPPL policy. Policy states, “Meetings: … Notice will be posted in the library and published in local newspaper as prescribed by law. All meetings are open to the public. …. Special meetings may be called by the president of the Board of Library Trustees to consider one or more items of business specified in the call of the meeting. Notice of time, place and exact purpose of the meeting must be sent to the members and posted in the library as prescribed by law.” Notice was not posted in a timely fashion nor as required by law or by BLT-OPPL policy. I could have used that notice to prepare for the meeting. It turns out BLT-OPPL refused public comment anyway. Then it passed its policy permitting the illegal Internet pornography.
Also, I believe the OMA forbids special meetings scheduled on legal holidays. The special meeting occurred on 12 February 2014. In Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, 12 February 2104 is a legal holiday, namely, Lincoln’s Birthday. ( http://www2.illinois.gov/cms/employees/personnel/pages/stateholidays.aspx ) Therefore, the whole meeting was illegal. Perhaps every decision should be nullified. Holding the meeting on that date, especially combined with how it was hastily assembled in violation of the OMA, took away the ability to request an injunction from the PAC. I believe the meeting was held on that date precisely to thwart having a meeting complaint with the OMA. The pornography push was rushed though, in other words. More evidence of this is that the new trustee member seated for the first time that day also voted to continue to allow illegal Internet pornography that very day without having any time at all to consider the issues. And two trustees wanted to take more time to consider the matter but they were overruled. On a legal holiday, BLT-OPPL rushed through a policy to permit illegal porn and preclude electronic participation without public comment and without compliance with the OMA and without the ability of anyone to seek emergent injunctive relief from the PAC. I feel the policy was drafted in response to me personally and my failed effort to attend electronically in December 2013 to answer to ALA’s appearance and misinformation in November 2013.
I am asking for a determination that the Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees violated the OMA in December 2013 and in February 2014 in what are essentially separate though related instances. In no case did the BLT-OPPL act in as an “open, honest and accountable government, the cornerstone of a democracy.” ( http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net ) If possible, other relief may be appropriate, such as a finding that a policy created February 2014 that precludes electronic access violates the OMA and may even violate other rules about equal access, the ADA, or the like, or such as a finding that I be allowed to speak on the topic.
Yes, the Board has already decided, but it did so during what may itself be another violation of the OMA. If that February meeting is found to have violated the OMA law due to not announcing the meeting as required by law or due to the meeting’s having occurred on a legal holiday, I may yet get a chance to speak at a rescheduled meeting, but only if the PAC helps in this regard as the library itself will do anything, even break the OMA law and perhaps ADA, to prevent me from advising that the US Supreme Court ruled that blocking porn from public libraries does not violate the First Amendment, that local and state law precludes allowing Internet pornography in the OPPL, and that the Village of Orland Park has the authority it needs to force the library to come into compliance with the law.
Dan Kleinman, Library Watchdog
641 Shunpike Rd #123
Chatham, NJ 07928
URL of this page: safelibraries.blogspot.com/2014/02/OPPL.html
On Twitter: @ILAttyGeneral @IntolerantFox @OIF @OrlandPkLibrary @VillageOrlandPk
On Twitter: @ILAttyGeneral @IntolerantFox @OIF @OrlandPkLibrary @VillageOrlandPk