Pantagraph finally reports, sort of

By:  Diane Benjamin

Today the local media finally decided to report on the Coliseum:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/city-examining-ciam-s-concession-sales-at-coliseum/article_32b4b33e-8f50-5782-a8be-4ea5a57fbf0b.html

It needs a few corrections:

I knew Renner was going to try to say the concession problems I’ve been writing about for YEARS only came to light under the new management of the Coliseum.  The City is investigating other issues that did come to their attention during the transition, but possible under-payment of commissions on concessions wasn’t one of them.  This is the reason I posted the “timeline” story yesterday:  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/31/coliseum-the-timeline/

Judge Foley did not grant CIAM’s motion to dismiss last week.  She partially granted it dependent on my re-filing.  This is from the transcript:

dismissI stated as much to the author in an email.

Renner states CIAM’s management agreement did not protect the citizens.  He is correct, but he and David Hales made NO attempt within the contract to protect citizens.  The contract does state the City can inspect anything they want at the Coliseum.  The City owns the concession reporting system.  They chose to NOT check reports and the commissions paid.

John Butler claims I don’t have the documents to make a determination about concession commissions.  THAT’S WHY THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED!  If I don’t have the correct records, the article I wrote clearly states that I will revise my numbers if proof is offered.  I used what I was given because of the lawsuit.  If I don’t have what I need John,  your lawyers have my address.

CIAM left the Coliseum without publishing quarterly financial statements as required by the management agreement.  The last statement they published was from October 2015, it has since been removed from the City website, but I have a copy:  Media2ndQtr2016

At best, it has sketchy information and not in the format they used to report in the past.  The fiscal year ended April 30, 2016.  The City had to do an audit to determine the loss for the year.  It has not been reported, probably because the audit is still happening.

The article does properly state what I’ve been fighting for almost a year.  CIAM claimed concessions sales are confidential information.  The management agreement clearly spells out the City’s share.  Taxpayers are expected to believe CIAM paid them 100% of the amount owed without David Hales checking their reports or calculations.

I like how the $447,318 I calculated was buried deep in the article.   Classy.

One more note, I’m not a licensed certified public accountant anymore, so ethics rules preclude any use of the title.  I also dropped registered CPA since the only purpose was for the State to get $100 a year.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Doug Kinzinger says:

    At least the Pantagraph made the effort to finally report it. That’s something. I remember when they used to actually report news, but that was pre-2008.

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  2. You got some nice comments on the article. Now waiting to hear from the sheep!

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  3. Congratulations Diane. Was a REAL eye opener though to see Tari’s and YOUR photo in the same story-so HAD to read it. Still get BETTER reporting here! I think the only FACTS the Pantagraph checks is the RENEWAL payment!

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  4. I think the City is investigating a lot more than just concessions with CIAM. I am sure there is more to come.

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  5. I too was put off by the Pantycrap’s assertion that Judge Foley granted CIAM’s motion to dismiss. Bull! Bad reporting Pantycrap! Diane is representing herself. She’s not an attorney and as such there are certain procedures of protocol that need to be followed, specific to the wording of your court documents. That’s complicated when you don’t have an attorney. That’s what this is about. This case is far, far from being dismissed!

    People have got to understand that even under FOIA and even when the law is on your side, it’s a bureaucratic nightmare to go as far as Diane has gone on this. Citizens may think the law is on their side, but the exercise of the law is really designed to protect those who aren’t obeying the law by bogging down citizens with endless paperwork, legal expense and patience. Most people just aren’t going to be as persistent as Diane and that’s a bad thing for our country.

    By the way, not a word from David Hales, the usual spin meister for the city of Bloomington. Coincidence? Is he on an extended Labor Day weekend vacation, soon on his way out or both?

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  6. They can’t even publish an obituary correctly much less a news article. I guess there are limits as to what a spell checker can do. Investigative news reporting isn’t their forte just only social news on what party was recently held I guess. If it hadn’t been for Diane who would have known. Now let’s see if the city pursues what is owed to the taxpayers.

    On another note I see where that local CB radio station reported someone planning on running against Lower in the next election. The owner of a bakery in the downtown. Just my opinion but he sounds like a socialist aka let the government spur economic growth. I hate to tell them but downtown moved east back in the late 1960’s. Doubtful Tiffany’s is interested in downtown Bloomington.

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  7. Bloomington Elite Can Probe for the Proles says:

    Sooo, now Bloomington is capable of investigating internal financial matters. Why is it when it’s some ‘vanity project’ it’s no-holds-barred when hiring external ‘expertise’ in the form of consultants, but for something like tallying up bullshit concession records submitted by CIAM, the City has all the resources available internally to handle, no doubt, a labor-intensive task?

    City should have been demanding and checking these records all along. Such weak leadership that couldn’t demand and receive Micros reports to which Bloomington was entitled. Just roll over and rub the belly . . . not to mention, the philosophy that if you ignore it long enough it might just go away, or at least you’ll be long down the road and it’ll be somebody else’s problem.

    Diane, thank you for being persistent in this matter. Bloomington’s elite does not care if money was lost or not paid to citizens. That whole ‘unlimited tax power’ thing. What’s a dollar here or a dollar there . . . if it’s too much work or CIAM is too resistant . . . just take the easy route and ‘let it go.’

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  8. funny no mention of judy asking for this back in 2014. looks to me as david hales and tari were getting some sort of kick back.

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  9. sticky bean says:

    Help solve the pension boondoggle. Fire Hales before he is eligible to collect. More money then for those that deserve it.

    Like

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