Cook County

Orland Park Library spent $480,000 fighting open records and open meetings laws –

Orland Park, IL. (ECWd) –

In the past fifteen months, the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL) has spent over $480,000.00 fighting Freedom of Information and Open Meetings laws in a failed attempt at keeping records from the public and keeping the public from speaking / attending public meetings, or in other words, to censor and silence critics...that’s right…this is the same library that received the “intellectual freedom” award winning library and was awarded the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award just last year by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science even after failing to report, and admitting it, that child pornography was accessed in its library and for defending the “right” of others to view pornography on its computers in full view of other patrons – including children.

That’s just fine and dandy with them because it was your money they were spending, not their own personal money. The situation at the OPPL is a prime example of why public officials must be held personally responsible for their decisions – for if the threat of emptying their personal bank accounts by almost half a million dollars was there, none of this would ever have been an issue.

So as it stands, the OPPL has paid out $10,000.00 deductible on its insurance and $250,000.00 for their attorneys at KTJ. In addition, the insurance company for OPPL has paid out $230,000.00 in its failed defense of the lawsuits brought about by the actions of OPPL board members and OPPL employee Mary Weimar.

Below is the latest invoice from Jackson Lewis…the lawyers who represented the OPPL in the two lawsuits filed regarding FOIA and OMA violations committed by the OPPL. This invoice represents the “matter life to date” for Jackson Lewis’ representation of the OPPL in the Fox-1 and Fox-2 lawsuits (which are being settled for $55,000 and the production of the documents the library was hiding and the removal of all the illegal OMA restrictions they enacted in their policies).
The Hanover Group Insurance Company had to eat $175,000 in legal fees and costs incurred by the OPPL because the OPPL followed the terrible legal advice given to them by Klein Thorpe Jenkins…which resulted in the OPPL violating the FOIA and OMA statutes repeatedly. That led to thr lawsuits.
The Hanover Group will also have to cut a check for $55,000 this month as part of the settlement. So, it looks like Hanover Group will have to payout at least $230,000 before all is said and done…as a direct result of the incompetent legal advice given to the OPPL by Klein Thorpe Jenkins.
Remember that the OPPL has paid KTJ over $250,000 at this point in legal fees since October 2013, when Mary Weimar at the OPPL started hiding documents, violating the FOIA statute, and engaging in the pattern and practice of violating the OMA to censor and silence the library’s critics. KTJ advised the OPPL the entire way and encouraged and enabled the violations of the FOIA and OMA, and they made an absolute killing while giving this legal advice.

[gview file=”http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2015-04-07-OPPL-Insurance-costs-to-date.pdf”]

 

23 replies »

  1. Let me help Hanover Group Insurance. Quoting now, “The Hanover Group Insurance Company had to eat $175,000 in legal fees and costs incurred by the OPPL because the OPPL followed … terrible legal advice …. as a direct result of the incompetent legal advice given to the OPPL by Klein Thorpe Jenkins.” My opinion, of course, but besides mere incompetence there was the intentional tossing aside of ethical standards, perhaps in a criminal fashion:

    “Library Lawyers Manufacture Evidence But Inspire Humorous Video; ALA Takes Opportunity to Teach How to Thwart Complaining Patrons”

    http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2014/04/LibraryLawyers.html

    The Hanover Group Insurance Company should consider bringing an action against Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins for malpractice that may have been the proximate cause of its financial losses. Everyone expects insurance firms to lose money here and there but not basically have it stolen from them by the incompetence and violation of ethical and possibly criminal standards of a law firm, let alone this being one defending a library’s effort to hide child porn and its cover up from the public. That goes beyond the pale. But for KTJ’s poor and possibly illegal advice, such as submitting a false affidavit, The Hanover Group Insurance Company would never have occurred this huge expense. The insurance company should not have to pay for the criminal behavior of the library and its lawyers who enabled the criminality and themselves behaved in an unethical and criminal fashion.

    Remember one of the lawyers called the police to file a false claim of harassment against Megan Fox and help the library “build a record” against her? There’s that too.

    Again, my opinion, of course. But the facts are the facts.

    • I am thinking aloud here. But, is there any kind of statewide watchdog group for taxpayer money waste? Because I think what Klein Thorpe Jenkins did here might be the tip of a huge iceberg. Just imagine if Klein Thorpe Jenkins is giving legal advice to other public bodies that leads them or allows them to break the law like OPPL did.

      What if this is happening statewide, where needless legal bills are being generated by Klein Thorpe Jenkins. What if a group audited all of Klein Thorpe Jenkins’ public clients and did a study on if this law firm is creating legal bills by giving bad legal advice that creates messes like at OPPL. And then Klein Thorpe Jenkins charges more money to clean up the mess they created.

      This could be a big scheme where millions of dollars in legal fees are created by a law firm that is doing this on purpose. Who can investigate this to see if Klein Thorpe Jenkins is doing this?

      Anecdotally from the OPPL example, there is grounds to believe that is indeed what is happening.

    • Dave, the public outcry is minimal as the library media and ESPECIALLY the main stream media work very hard to give only the news as if reported by the library itself.

      For over a year, for example, the Chicago Tribune never discusses the issue being CHILD porn, unless it’s in a way to make the claim and Megan Fox look silly.

      The Chicago Tribune reports all the money the library spent because of some homeschooling mom and not a word about the library’s repeat criminal violations of the law and its defense of same being the cause for its running up its own bills to defend its covering up and maintaining child porn.

      Main stream media casts as “quiet dignity” the very person making homophobic remarks, just completely ignoring the gay hate at that library by her and an elected official to boot.

      Where is the public outcry? Nowhere. The public is intentionally misinformed. It will stay misinformed because Chicago Tribune, etc., will continue to misreport intentionally.

  2. Why is there no accountability at that library? Why does that Mary Weimar woman still have her job??? Her decisions as director led the library on a path that resulted in huge legal bills and a big settlement over violations of the law. According to the library’s website, Mary Weimar is paid $189,000/year as director. Is that wise, considering the mess that Weimar made as director with this matter?

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