Bombshell: Sit down before reading

By:  Diane Benjamin

I’ve been writing about the Coliseum since early 2014.  My lawsuit against the City of Bloomington was the last resort to getting somebody’s attention!  I would not have this information without the lawsuit.

Earlier this week I received part of the information I sued for:  three years of concession sales information.  I received it from  City Attorney Jeff Jurgens along with a note saying CIAM agreed to the release.  This is the information the City plans to put on-line.  Without an explanation, citizens won’t have a clue what they are looking at.  Here is what I received:

Micros Reports – May 1, 2012 – April 30, 2013

FY 2014 Micros Report-1

FY 2015 Micros Reports

Jurgens told me these were printed at the Coliseum by the current management.  The Micros (Point of Sale) system is owned by the City.  Jeff Jurgens assures me this information is accurate, John Butler also reviewed it and approved.  Contained in each report is a list of total sales per stand.  The lists are labeled net, so I assume that means sales tax isn’t included.  “Stand” means the location in the Coliseum where the concession sale took place.

With this information its easy to apply the percentages listed in the CIAM Management Agreement.  Simple multiplication tells what CIAM should have paid in commissions to the Coliseum Fund (the City).  Once I determined how much should have been paid, I could compare it to what WAS paid.

These are the CIAM filed reports from the City website:  2015 has a final 4th Quarter report, but I have never been able to open it.

FY2013 Year End Coliseum Report-1  See Page 11

FY2014 4Qr Coliseum Report-1 See Page 4

Coliseum 4th Quarter FY2015  See Page 8

The Coliseum contract calls for a 15% Commission from Suite sales and 32% everywhere else up to $1 million in sales, 34% up to $1.2 Million etc. TWO of the three years went over $1.2 million, so the commission should have been 38%.  From the Management Contract:


Ready?  Still sitting down?

Click the pic below to enlarge.  I took each stand and listed the reported sales.  Then I applied the applicable percentage to arrive at what the contract says should have been paid.



Now, add all the amounts in yellow – that column is the difference between what I calculated as owed and what BMI Concessions reportedly paid:


208,205.52 + 59,998.79 + 179,113.46 = $447,317.77


The years are out-of-order because I received 2014 and 2015 before 2013.

John Butler and his attorneys are free to protest percentages.  I have no problem revising the spreadsheet if they can show me in the contract where I am wrong.   Even with potential revisions, it’s will still be a lot of money.

Catering is not part of this calculation unless it is was buried somewhere in the pages I received.  Again, the amount above is subject to change if more information is forthcoming.

One more note:

City Manager David Hales never checked concession reports.  During lawsuit settlement talks, with Judge Foley present, both the CIAM lawyers and George Boyle (city lawyer) claimed the City never asked – both parties were happy with what was being paid.  I believe I noticed the Judge rolling her eyes.

Jeff Jurgens has assured me that auditors are looking at the same information I have.

John Butler or his lawyers are free to tell me what numbers they don’t agree with and I will post changes, after they show me where the contract states something different.  I’m just using the information I received and the Management Contract received by FOIA.

The City is also free to call and correct anything they object to.  Of course, they have to prove it too.

There will be one follow-up story next.





34 thoughts on “Bombshell: Sit down before reading

  1. How will this possibly be reported by the media without giving you credit? Great work Diane! Thank you for your hard work on this. Im sure Tari will be reaching out to thank you as well, lol.

  2. What does David Hales actually DO? He has highly paid assistants for almost everything (perhaps no one is counting potholes) that is run by the city. My credo for managing anything where the buck stops with me has always been, “inspect what you expect”. It’s obvious that he didn’t. He should be fired.

  3. The point that struck me was that the City and CIAM were both happy with the money paid. Since when? Why are public officials so generous with tax payer money? If I owed the city a dime they would shake me down daily until it was paid. Let us see if an alderman brings this up next Monday night, let us see if the Pantagraph picks this up AND let us see if they chase this money down. Unfortunately, even money says it will be a wash.

      1. I have sent email requests (with links to this story) to both the Mayor and my Alderman (Sage) asking what the city is doing to recover our money. I guess it is time to drop a tip with the Pantagraph and see if it gets picked up.

  4. Please verify my common core math, but am I correct that between 2014 and 2015, there was a decrease in sales of 46.4%??????

  5. TOO BAD there ISN’T an “interest” clause in there also, which would stipulate IF the CIAM failed to make proper payment, then INTEREST would be added-kind of like the I.R.S. does to U.S. citizens!
    Sooo, WHO dropped the ball here?? City lawyers, accountants, Hales, Renner, the council or CIAM? This would have bought Tari a LOT of lunch at 220 or Jimmy Johns!

      1. The answers to those questions can be found in the Chapter 2 ordinances. The buck stops with Hales. Hales is employees at the discretion of mayor and council.

  6. Wow, just wow! Extreme show of incompetence of the city manager David Hales. Wow! Seriously Hales should resign or be fired!

  7. Almost 1/2 million bucks in three years! As long as the coliseum has been operating perhaps we can at least triple that number.

  8. It’s KINDA like watching an OLD WESTERN where the “SHERIFF” and his cronies ran the town-where’s the NEW marshall-he NEEDS to take some folks to YUMA!

  9. Great work Diane! Of course if this was a corporation, David Hales would be summarily fired over this due the fact he failed to oversee this contract properly. Of course, only in Bloomington do we reward failures. I just wonder, did any of that missing money perhaps get diverted into some greasy hands? Outside authorities need to be looking in this. I’m tired, as well as many of other citizens, of being tax raped and the corruption being conducted at city hall. Besides the fiscal irresponsibility and contempt for the average citizen by most Aldermen and the Mayor ( except for election time when the try and force a smile and kiss your derrière if they are up for reelection), I would like to encourage people to contact your state representative and ask them to sponsor a bill prohibiting elected mayors and appointed City Managers from having “two on one” meetings with alderman belonging to their own political party in order to circumvent the Open Meetings Act. We have a three year history of a Mayor who openly, on camera , admits to engaging in this practice, and we know of one current and one former alderwoman who were not invited to attend like their counterparts. It’s also insulting that the Mayor and a City Manager make the taxpayers pay for their meals along with picking up the tab for the Alderman . If they want to try and skirt around the law , they should do so at their own expense.

      1. Maybe a Chicago paper will be interested in downstate corruption for a change. 😎

        Sent from my iPhone


      2. I sent emails to the Mayor and my Alderman, no response yet. I called the Pantagraph and WJBC newsrooms and told them this story was developing. So far no traction. I guess $400,000 just isn’t enough. (How many fixed potholes is that?)

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