Bloomington: Contempt for Transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin

My next lawsuit is going to be for the AUDIO of the Executive Session where the Attorney General ruled the Open Meetings Act was violated.  I will demand the judge listen to the entire audio to insure the City doesn’t redact items that shouldn’t be redacted.


Stay with me:

See the Attorney General ruling here:

Here are the minutes as released in June 2014Not Redacted 40f1746-11-15-13-closed-meeting-minutesr-2

That document is SEVEN pages long – Keep that thought!

When the Attorney General requested (as opposed to order) the City release the audio, I submitted a FOIA request for it.  I received this denial:

denyzNote the circled part.

This is the document that was attached they claim is the redacted minutes from the meeting that was ruled illegal:  REDACTED 201606131459-1

Open that file – it’s THIRTEEN Pages.

SIX pages are missing between the two sets of minutes!

Someone at the City of Bloomington re-wrote the minutes to deceive citizens.

Hales/Renner wanted you to believe in 2014 the meeting was no big deal.  Renner called Stearns ridiculous.  But somebody at the City forget the previously forged minutes!  They accidentally attached the real minutes.  Lies are hard to keep straight!

When the original minutes were released in 2014, information wasn’t redacted as allowed by law – it was deleted!  More than TWO years later, we find the minutes released have very little to do with what actually took place.  What’s in the missing 6 pages?  The Attorney General’s opinion stated only small sections that could be redacted.

If the Council is going to allow this deceit, I have no choice but to let a judge decide.

Scott Black, Jim Fruin, Joni Painter, Mboka Mwilambwe, and Kevin Lower are all up for election early next year.  The Council recently allowed Alderman to put items on the agenda.  Here’s the 5 votes needed to put the audio release on the agenda.  The ONLY way to restore the citizens faith in government is to NOT redact anything!

Enough deceit!

They certainly aren’t very good at it!  Even if they do release the audio, I have no assurance they didn’t redact things that shouldn’t have been!

Intentionally creating documents meant to deceive is a crime.  Unfortunately, nobody with the ability to prosecute cares.  I will send it to our State’s Attorney and post the reply when they refuse.


5 thoughts on “Bloomington: Contempt for Transparency

  1. I read it and was amazed at the lack of courage. Because they mention a person by name the entire meeting is a secret? They were looking to justify the violation rather than admit it was wrong and simply open the meeting. How can anyone have respect for that kind of behavior? When I got to “Sometimes you have to spend money to save money.” I almost lost it (my breakfast that is). Who can honestly say something like that with a straight face and expect to be taken seriously?

    Meeting notes signed by Ms Covert, how oddly appropriate.


  2. I don’t know what is worse–the action or the refusal to recognize what they did was wrong and then try to justify their action. Makes me sick!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s