Court: Things changed

By: Diane Benjamin

Since BlnNews has a LOT of new readers, allow me to briefly recap the lawsuit I filed against the City of Bloomington concerning the Coliseum.

  • I filed a Freedom of Information request over a year ago for the concession reports from 2014
  • I also included a request for payroll records from 2014
  • Concession sales are not audited, without the documents there is no proof the City is receiving payment according to the contract.
  • Without payroll information, taxpayers have no idea who is profiting from THEIR asset and for how much
  • The City denied my request – they allowed the Coliseum Management to answer.  They claimed I have no right to THEIR information
  • I then filed with the Illinois Attorney General.  They investigated the case, but after many months of waiting for them to rule I filed a court case.
  • The Coliseum Management contract is being negotiated now for an extension, the issue needs to be resolved before a new contract is signed.
  • I have issued a subpoena for City Manager David Hales to appear on February 5th

The City of Bloomington lawyers and the Coliseum lawyers are doing EVERYTHING they can think of to delay the date and/or not release the information I requested.

Yesterday I received a large stack of documents from the Coliseum lawyers.  Two motions were included, they expect the judge to hear them on February 2nd, the date the City of Bloomington scheduled a conference for.

That’s not going to happen.  CIAM’s (Central Illinois Arena Management) lawyers must give me time to respond, normally 30 days.  I will not allow them to derail my lawsuit against the City of Bloomington.

I’m not going to lay out here what my arguments will be.  But citizens need to wonder:

Why is the City working hard to hide information?


Why is the Coliseum working even harder to hide information?

If you live in Bloomington, ask your alderman why.

I almost hope the Council is forced by Renner and Hales to vote on a contract extension before my court case is resolved.  Any aldermen who vote YES will be proving their total disregard for taxpayers.

Side note:  I bet CIAM is charging the Coliseum for the legal expenses being racked up to hide information.  That means the taxpayers are footing the bill for them.

I have printed dozens of stories on the Coliseum, if you want more information type Coliseum in the Search Box on

Anybody notice the people who claim to report news haven’t reported this?




13 thoughts on “Court: Things changed

  1. Hey Mudd, you forgot the Amusement tax! They charge it at the zoo, and I believe that SOME of the acts at the “arena” qualify as untrained animals!

  2. The City and CIAM probably don’t want anyone to find out how much off-duty Bloomington police officers are paid to provide security at Coliseum events.

  3. “Side note: I bet CIAM is charging the Coliseum for the legal expenses being racked up to hide information. That means the taxpayers are footing the bill for them.”

    If CIAM/BMI Concession is not performing a government function, by what right would they expect a single penny from the citizens of Bloomington?

    If Bloomington actually does pay, I would have no choice but to conclude that Bloomington and CIAM have some joint or shared liability in the management of the Coliseum – otherwise, why would/should we pay (aside from the fact that we like shipping hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to a law firm in Springfield)?

    Wouldn’t even the expectation of reimbursement of legal expenses imply their belief that they are performing some sort of government function?

    Am I missing something here?

    1. This is the slippery slope as a result of public/private partnerships. The City of Bloomington routinely spends money on things that are not related to the function of government–everything becomes muddled.

  4. Can you tell us who the CIAM lawyers are? Are they local, from Peoria, or from somewhere else.

    It doesn’t surprise me what they did. They are probably doing that to create as much hassle or roadblocks as possible to get the information.

    As for the CIAM lawyers billing Bloomington that may be possible and might be specified in the contract.

      1. I’ve met Reece once before when I went to him for something. I was not impressed at all. I remember him saying to me he charges I think it was $80 an hour and at the time I was earning $100 an hour. It was all I could do but hold back and not tell him that I earned more than he did. I never went back. That’s when he had an office where Miller’s True Value was at and I think there is some hair studio there now.

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