March 5, 2001

Larry D. Black, Director
Columbus Metropolitan Library
96 S. Grant Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215-4781

Dear Mr. Black:

By now you have probably read your staff report regarding my
visit to the Library on March 2, 2001.

I am now quite disappointed with the training and professionalism
of your guards, particularly Eric Wilson and Brian (would not
give me his last name).  I, at all times, was cool, never
raised my voice, and I followed all instructions of the guards,
even while they argued with each other over what to do with
me.  I also note that my bare feet disturbed the library not
one bit, as evidenced by the fact that I used the library
facilities for over an hour before being noticed.

I was eventually taken to see Assistant Director Chris Taylor,
who was again unfailingly polite and professional, though perhaps
a bit exasperated.  She did an excellent job of defusing a
situation with rude and out-of-control guards.

Upon being escorted out by Ms. Taylor, the Assistant Manager,
Security, Mr. Vonzell Johnson, along with Eric Wilson, insisted
on presenting me with an Eviction Notice, claiming that it was
warranted since I had been warned before. In addition to having
as the reason for eviction, "Inappropriate Dress", the Notice
also included "Staff Harassment." Ms. Taylor can vouch that at
no time did I harass any of the staff, by any reasonable definition
of the word "harass."

This Eviction Notice did not afford me due process, as your
security personnel did not follow the library's own procedures.
In fact, Mr. Johnson refused to let me show him the procedure,
and insisted that he knew what was required. The Eviction Procedure
(Case File 20.142), clearly says that the procedure for a Type
01 violation is a warning. And it remains a warning no matter
how many times a Type 01 violation occurs.   In fact, the
speciousness of the "harassment" charge is highlighted since
I was told that it consisted of tieing up the resources of the
3 guards while they escorted me around and filled out the
Eviction Notice.  If they had followed the documented (but
still unconstitutional) Eviction Procedure, one guard would have
escorted me out in 30 seconds, or it would have taken me 10
seconds to put on footwear (under protest).

You have now unjustly deprived me of using the library.

Next, I am quite disappointed with the quality of the opinion
that you got from Jeffrey L. Glasgow of the County Prosecutor's
office.  Regarding the footwear rule in Kreimer, any first-year
law student knows that courts only rule on issues before them.
Kreimer never went without shoes, so that issue was not before
the court.  That discussion (in a footnote, no less) was dicta.
There was no evidence presented, pro or con, for the court to
consider. In addition, even if the proper level of scrutiny
for this rule is "rational basis" (which is not what the body
of the ruling says), there was no argument, one way of the
other, as to whether the footwear rule was rational.

My letters to you and the Board members have elicited absolutely
no basis, rational or otherwise, for your insistence on having
such a footwear rule.  You all merely persist in proclaiming
it, presumably because you think you have the power, and
object to that power being questioned.  It would be so much
easier for all concerned to simply remove this arbitrary and
unjustifiable rule.

I ask again, upon what basis have you promulgated this rule
requiring footwear in the library?

I note in passing that the Pickerington Library has no such
rule.  In fact, their only footwear rule asks patrons to remove
their inline skates and go barefooted or in stocking feet
to use the library.  That rule has a rational basis.

Finally, is that any other avenue I should address to try to
get you to change your footwear policy?  Have I exhausted all
my administrative remedies?
                                                 Robert A. Neinast

Cc: Mr. Philip C. Johnson, President, Board of Trustees
    Mr. David C. Swaddling, former President, Board of Trustees
    Mr. Jeffrey L. Glasgow, County Prosecutor's Office

         Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou
                       standest is holy ground.

                             Acts 7:33