So Bloomington claims . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin

The narrative Bloomington wants you to believe is they didn’t know about any malfeasance at the Coliseum by CIAM until VenuWorks took possession of the building.

Forget for a minute that I’d been writing about CIAM since 2013.

VenuWorks took over at the end of March 2016.

This agreement was signed was signed by David Hales on June 29th and Venue Works on July 15th.  VenuWorks/City of Bloomington Agreement

Page 13 contains this:

venuworksloanVenuWorks wrote a check to John Butler for $299,999 for the equipment Butler left behind.  The agreement has the City paying VenuWork back over 60 months.  That’s what the check for $4,999.98 in the post is:

I don’t know when the City called in the State Police, but does it make sense that they knew problems existed during John Butler’s Coliseum Management, but they had VenuWorks write him a big check anyway?

I doubt VenuWorks wrote the check without knowing the City was going to pay them back.  Anybody find it strange that a City with  Revenue projected  over $200,000,000 couldn’t write their own check?

This tells me one or more of the following is true:

  • When VenuWorks paid Butler nobody knew any problems existed
  • Hales rushed the VenuWorks payment to Butler for some unknown purpose
  • The old Coliseum Management was under investigation by the State Police, but Butler got paid anyway

More questions:

  • Why was a big check written to Butler when an investigation was underway?
  • Was the investigation NOT really underway as the City claims?
  • Why was the check written before the Council approved the agreement on June 27th?
  • The Pantagraph reported the sale pf equipment to Butler on April 4th – why does the agreement reflect June-July?
  • Is this more proof the Council is immaterial?

Somebody needs to explain what they knew and when they knew it.

Renner/Hales couldn’t have been stupid enough to write a big check if the problems were bad enough to call in the State Police, Right?

Notice nothing is being said about the State Police investigation?  Is it still going on? (crickets)




11 thoughts on “So Bloomington claims . . .

  1. In all of your previous reports, Diane, you mention that the City owned the equipment. Why would John Butler get paid for it? Or is this equipment other than for concessions? What exactly were they paying him for? Thanks.


    1. The contract clearly states that Butler donated up to $1,000,000 in concession equipment to get the original contract. Evidently later in the contract it says he still owns it. It was a bad contract, another sign that Councils for decades don’t do their own homework. The first time I read it I could tell it was awful.


    2. The City owned the Point of Sale equipment for the purpose of monitoring revenue of which the City was owed a percentage. The equipment Butler owned is probably the beverage machines and those for cooking at the concession stand.


  2. From the ISP website.
    Major Case Crimes, Narcotics and Public Integrity
    The Division of Internal Investigation specializes in investigating alleged misconduct, corruption, conflict of interest and malfeasance in state government including the various executive departments, agencies, commissions, and boards under the jurisdiction of the governor. Among its diverse responsibilities are the investigations of financial crimes, theft of state property and charges of abuse or neglect of inmates of state correctional and mental facilities.

    Malfeasance – wrong doing by a public official, hmmm could that be …..the list is extensive. LOL
    It makes you wonder what all exactly they could possibly be investigating.
    I would venture to say sales tax due to the state for one thing. Tax evasion, a big one they don’t like.


      1. Just maybe someone with some moral integrity from city hall reading your website picked up the phone or sent them a letter asking them to investigate. That’s probably about all it would take. I doubt if you could even FOIA to find that out due to repercussion protection. Now that out be something to know. Not the person’s name but just who from where tipped them off. Could have been someone working at the big white dome also that knew what was going on more that the city ever would have. I’ll bet that’s where it originated from. I may be wrong but I’d put money on it if I were to bet.


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