During the four month long investigation into unfiltered pornography offered to Orland Park Library patrons, I have had many interactions with the Village of Orland Park but none as interesting as the last one. My main contact at the Village has been Joe LaMargo, Public Information Officer and designated “Crisis Manager”. My first meeting with him was very cordial and he explained to me that the Village has zero authority over the Library, they have their own board of directors and the Village people aren’t allowed to ask them to do anything and barely even speak to them. I believed him, until I found emails between Village Manager Paul Grimes and Library Director Mary Weimar where he offers her advice on how to deal with “those people.” (Namely, Kevin DuJan and myself and anyone else who objects to porn in the Library.)
This revelation made the Village look like liars and the same day I discovered it and confronted LaMargo in his office (where he continually rubbed his hands over his face and jiggled his left leg under the table at around 200 beats per minute) the Mayor of Orland Park finally decided to enter the fray and ask for filters in a letter to the Library. His previous response to my phone calls and requests for a meeting went unanswered or cancelled. Only when I caught the Village telling lies did the Mayor suddenly decide to make a statement and side with parents. (It should be noted that I hadn’t planned on disclosing this bit of information but with the Village breaking bad on me I don’t feel like I owe them any professional courtesy that I otherwise would have granted them.)
Even after that point, LaMargo continued to be friendly with me and help me with any FOIA requests I had. He was very responsive and always gave me what I asked for well before the deadline. However, the minute I started asking about the laws that govern Sexually Oriented Businesses (S.O.B.) in the Village (there are no S.O.B.s in Orland Park unless you count the ones on the Library Board) his demeanor changed to ice cold. Suddenly, he wasn’t responding to me personally, he was dodging my phone calls and was “out to lunch” when I dropped in to see him. He started having his secretary return my calls and emails as if he were suddenly promoted to Village Pope. For the last week before this rapid change in attitude I had been asking him informally to point me to the Village code that governed any S.O.B. in Orland Park. Surely, the Village must have such a thing because in the entire area there are no businesses selling sex; no porn shops, peep shows, strip clubs, bathhouses or adult book stores. The answer I got (through his secretary) was to “look it up” on a highly confusing website that houses the Village codes. I need not tell you what a government website is like. You’ve no doubt been to your state’s “Obamacare Health Exchange Website.” This one is no exception to the rule that government-run operations are overly complicated and difficult to navigate.