Pantagraph a fraud? See proof here!

by:  Diane Benjamin

I written many times about the Pantagraph being in bed with the City of Bloomington.  Citizens will NEVER be told the truth in the newspaper.  A legal intern at the Citizens Advocacy Center in Elmhurst Il wrote a Letter to the Editor.  The Pantagraph refused to print it:

From: Pantagraph Letters <PLetters@pantagraph.com>
Date: June 13, 2014 at 5:42:15 PM CDT
To: ‘Georgia Smithee’ <gsmithee@umail.iu.edu>
Subject:  City of Bloomington’s Ethics Policy

I’m sorry but your letter has not been selected for publication.
Thank you.

 

The email isn’t even signed.  The Pantagraph occasionally lets citizens criticize the City of Bloomington.   This letter was rejected because a legal student researched City policy and found some parts that don’t comply with the law.  This clearly shows the Pantagraph isn’t a place to find real news, just the news they want you to know.  Check the dates.  It didn’t even take the Pantagraph 1 day to reject it.   Here’s the Letter to the Editor they rejected:

From: Georgia Smithee [mailto:gsmithee@umail.iu.edu]
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2014 4:57 PM
To: Pantagraph Letters
Cc: Andrea Alvarez
Subject: City of Bloomington’s Ethics Policy

Georgia Smithee, Legal Intern
Citizen Advocacy Center, 182 N York St, Elmhurst, IL 60126
630.833.4080

There is a major flaw in the City of Bloomington’s ethics policy: no clear venue exists for a concerned citizen to file an ethics complaint. I recently contacted the City to inquire about how to file a complaint, and I was told that no one has filed a complaint in the past 19 years. After a conversation with a city employee, I was given the email address of the city attorney to contact with my concerns.

Illinois state law requires local government entities to adopt ethical rules for government officials and employees, and the City has complied by adding provisions against “prohibited political activities” and a gift ban to the City Code. However, the Illinois Attorney General also created a model ethics ordinance and a guide to implementing such an ordinance. The model ordinance creates an enforcement body, which is called an “Ethics Commission.” Generally, an ethics commission is a three-member board that convenes specifically to handle ethics complaints against governmental officials and employees. The implementation guide states, “Although the creation of an Ethics Commission is not expressly required, . . . it is strongly recommended to provide an efficient and effective procedure for addressing certain ethics complaints.”

The City Code, as it stands, is akin to having laws but no police force or justice system. For an engaged citizenry, the best system to enforce an ethics ordinance is an ethics commission. Bloomington should create the state-recommended ethics commission and a clear process for citizens to file an ethics complaint.

Best,
Georgia Smithee

Georgia Smithee
J.D. Candidate, 2015
Maurer School of Law
Indiana University
gsmithee@indiana.edu

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8 thoughts on “Pantagraph a fraud? See proof here!

  1. Sounds to me like the city is compliant with the bare minimum letter of the law but not the spirit of the law. Am I understanding correctly?

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  2. This is typical of the Pantycrap. They’ve refused to print some of my letters to the editor and the response is the same. They will email telling you they’re not printing, but no reason why and no name of any person to contact. This is a double standard. They won’t print your letter without a name but they can refuse to print yours without offering a name.

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