ORLAND PARK, IL. (ECWd) -
The Orland Park Public Library held a personnel meeting today in which they want to give pay raises to library employees. Some of these employees are making far more than the average library pays in the surrounding area, the OPPL in running a huge deficit due to paying Klein Thorpe Jenkin well over $160,000 this fiscal year fighting FOIA denials and Open Meetings Act complaints, and to also keep the child porn flowing unfettered into the library computers. Yes, the OPPL Board took positive (later found to be illegal by the AG) steps to ensure access to it on the library computers.
After this meeting, a patron kept his camera running and Mary Weinar tried to tell him to shut it off (must have taken lessons from her husband who likes flashing badges he is unauthorized to carry). He refused to stop filming. Then Mr. E. Kenneth Friker, an attorney at Klein Thorpe Jenkins, tried to put his legal expertise to use and told him to shut the camera off because there was a policy against it. Now we know he is an idiot for trying to say filming was not allowed.
First off, there is no policy against keeping a camera on after a public meeting. Second, the Illinois Eavesdropping Law was declared unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court earlier this year, and finally even if there was an OPPL policy, a local public body cannot develop policies that contradict state law. So, more bad advice from KTJ, hope they don't bill for it.
Fell free to drop him (Friker) a note and tell him how you feel about his bad advice: [email protected] or call him at: (708) 349-3888 or
Here is the write-up from a witness to this:
On 8/12/14 just after the Orland Park Public Library's special meeting of the Personnel Committee ended, E. Kenneth Friker (the Library's attorney from Klein Thorpe Jenkins), was talking to Mary Weimar (the Library's Director). An Open Public Meeting had just ended. The room this meeting was held in is inside a public building. It is accessible to the public and everyone in the room except for Kevin and me were public employees or elected public officials. One of the weird and childish games that the Board likes to play is to shout for us to stop filming as soon as the meeting is adjourned…but it's a first amendment right to film in a public building. In this case, we are filming public officials in a public meeting room in a public building and there is no expectation of any kind of privacy in this situation. Though this meeting room is in a library, there are no patrons reading books in this area or doing anything with an expectation of privacy. So there is no valid reason to demand we turn our cameras off. What happens a lot is that before or after meetings a majority of a quorum of Board Members mill about and have conversations that could very well involve Board business. That needs to be caught on film. E. Kenneth Friker demanded several times that Kevin turn off the camera but Kevin asserted his first amendment right. We don't believe that E. Kenneth Friker has the power or the right to tell us to stop filming in a public meeting room, where public officials are gathered with no expectation of privacy, inside a public building. Feels like another civil rights violation committed by this Library Board.
Video clip below: