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July 18, 2024

Klein, Thorpe, & Jenkins: Orland Park Public Library Fight – Part 2 –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 27, 2014


#10: “Allowing” the OPPL-BoT to lie to the media about the law.

This happens all the time, with the main lie being told by the OPPL-BoT that this library needs to keep child porn available, because if it didn’t then it could get sued for First Amendment violations. This is patently false, for a number of reasons that reputable attorneys would hammer home for their clients. The fact is that in 2003 the United States Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of US vs. ALA that public libraries can indeed use Internet filters to keep illegal material like child porn from being accessed in public libraries at public expense. No public library has any duty or obligation to provide things like child porn or terrorist resources to the public and each community has the right to demand that taxpayer resources never be squandered by making illegal material available at the public library.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Internet is an extension of the book shelf and that since libraries have always made choices about what to include in their catalogs and what books or periodicals not to purchase then libraries can also choose what to block from access on the Internet. No library has ever been sued for blocking child porn or terrorist resources from its computers, but the OPPL-BoT’s President, Nancy Wendt Healy, and its spokesman and “crisis manager”, Bridget Bittman, have both repeatedly appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Southtown Star papers claiming that the OPPL-BoT is afraid of being sued if it blocks illegal content from its Internet.
Shouldn’t the attorneys at Klein, Thorpe, & Jenkins have a duty to inform their clients that what they are saying in the paper is just not true? Could it be that these attorneys are knowingly allowing their clients to lie to the public and the media?

#9. Repeatedly encouraging the OPPL-BoT to violate the Freedom of Information Act.

This has been an ongoing problem with the OPPL-BoT since October of 2013, when researchers Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan began filing FOIA requests with the OPPL-BoT for records pertaining to instances of sex crimes committed in the OPPL, and the library’s coordination and collusion with the ALA in covering up “crises” such as those.
Time and again, the OPPL-BoT paid for the KTJ attorneys to fight FOIA production…and time and again the KTJ attorneys billed huge sums to write denial letters and challenges before the Attorney General’s Office of the Public Access Counselor. Often, the OPPL-BoT refused to produce documents electronically and instead printed out reams of material on paper…despite the FOIA requiring electronic production when electronic files were maintained by the library.
In other instances, the OPPL-BoT tried treating Fox and DuJan as the same person in efforts to have them declared “recurrent requesters” so that the library could deny production in a prompt manner (when courts have ruled that not even husbands and wives living in the same home can be considered the same person under the FOIA).
The OPPL-BoT has also on a number of occasions insisted it did not have particular documents…until Fox & DuJan produced evidence that those documents did in fact exist, and then, magically, the OPPL-BoT was forced to produce them after a shaming and involvement by the PAC.
Shouldn’t the KTJ firm be advising the OPPL-BoT to comply quickly with the FOIA and produce all requested documents without any games playing or obstruction? What benefit does it serve the public to drag these FOIA battles out over months…when all it does is cost the OPPL-BoT tens of thousands of dollars in new legal bills to the KTJ firm, which loses every time it goes before the PAC.

Photo from Megan Fox

Photo from Megan Fox


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