Public Library Pays Conservative Christian Activists $55,000 in Settlement Over Internet Censorship March 20, 2015

Public Library Pays Conservative Christian Activists $55,000 in Settlement Over Internet Censorship

Back in November, we heard about a Creationist mother who laughably “audited” an evolution exhibit at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and posted the video on YouTube.

It turned out that mother, Megan Fox, is the same person who (with Kevin DuJan, a friend of hers) had been a pain in the side of my local library for the past year. The library doesn’t censor the Internet and Fox saw that as sanctioning “taxpayer funded access to child porn.” (She also claims she saw a man viewing porn in the library.) Her actions had already cost the library more than $125,000 in order to keep up with her excessive FOIA requests, effectively taking money away from educational purposes.

I asked readers of this site to respond to her ignorance by contributing to a fundraiser for the library.

I made a video about it, too:

Within a month, you all raised an astonishing $7,614. (After GoFundMe took its cut, the total amount was $6,918.49.)

I gave the Orland Park library that check last December, letting them know it wasn’t earmarked for anything in particular. They could use it for whatever purposes they needed:

(You can see confirmation of that transaction right here.)

This week, news broke that the library decided to settle a lawsuit with the two provocateurs — likely to stop the bleeding, though it doesn’t mean Fox is going to disappear:

The settlement includes a $55,000 payment by the library’s insurance company to Fox, DuJan and their attorneys, resolves current complaints over alleged violations of the FOI law and the state’s open meetings law and sets up procedures for handling future public records requests from Fox and DuJan, according to a statement from Library Director Mary Weimar.

In a statement, Weimar said the library denies allegations that it violated transparency laws.

“Instead, the agreement reflects the assessments by the parties of the costs and uncertainties of continuing to litigate their disputes and the benefits of managing the reoccurring and voluminous Freedom of Information Act requests submitted by these plaintiffs,” Weimar wrote.

Many requests sought information on library policies, personnel and spending, but one asked why a trustee wears a similar red outfit at each meeting, whether it was a form of “hazing” or the library has “anything in writing that explains why she dresses up as Mrs. Claus every month,” according to library documents.

Library officials claimed last fall that the requests kept two employees busy for 35 hours each week and that legal fees related to the controversy had reached $125,000.

There’s no actual reason for filing these requests, it seems, other than to distract the library staff from doing meaningful work via a legal loophole. She claims she’s suing to stop the “dangers to children in this library” but her actions just make it harder for the people who need the library the most. It makes sense, I guess. Remaining ignorant has worked well for Fox. I guess she figures no one else needs an education, either.

(Large portions of this article were posted earlier)

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