Somebody is Lying

by: Diane Benjamin

On September 21, 2013 the Pantagraph had a front page story about Brian Barnes, the former City of Bloomington Finance Director.  The article was very out-of-place since it was from 2008.  Maybe the Pantagraph can’t find anything current to investigate.  If they need help, I can suggest a myriad of possibilities.

Rachel Wells, the Pantagraph reporter, reported that she obtained information from the City under the Freedom of Information Act.  She claims the City conducted an investigation into Mr. Barnes’s activities as Finance Director, and then he was given a choice:  be fired or retire.

The problem is that I sent a Freedom of Information Act to the City for the FOIA filed by the Pantagraph and the documents then sent to the Pantagraph under their FOIA.  This is a link to the FOIA filed by Rachel Wells:  PANTAGRAPH

The City sent this in response:  PANTAGRAPH HR Responses.wps

First, why did Ms. Wells think Brian Barnes was ever on paid leave?  He never was.

Second, the FOIA didn’t say ANYTHING about Brian Barnes being under ANY investigation.

The Pantagraph story written by Rachel Wells specifically states there was an investigation and she obtained the details under the Freedom of Information Act.

So, either the City of Bloomington changed the Pantagraph’s FOIA request and then sent a bogus copy to me, or Rachel Wells lied about where the information in her story came from.

Somehow the Pantagraph story got tied to a former employee charged with theft of $21,000.  She resigned in December 2011.  Brian Barnes left in 2008.

Somebody is attempting to cover for somebody.  Tom Hamilton retired as City Manager shortly after Brian Barnes.  Is he upset about the discoveries of his ineptness and trying to blame Brian Barnes via the Pantagraph?   Is David Hales trying to look really good via the Pantagraph?  There is a separate story where he is interviewed.

If the Pantagraph article is true, where are your sources Rachel?  If the City is lying to me, it is huge news.  Of course, that would mean reporting on City crimes.  I will be waiting anxiously for your response.  Right now it looks like you wrote a made-up story.

The article was titled:  “Records recount  official’s wrongs” followed by: “Finance chief left in 2008 after probe”.  What records? What probe?




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