By:  Diane Benjamin

Illinois Law requires every level of government adopt an Ethics Ordinance.  Even though it has been brought to Bloomington’s attention, they do not have an ethic ordinance on their website.  When asked who the Ethics Officer is – I believe we were told David Hales.  I did find this on the City website:  (click to enlarge)

That would be wonderful if Bloomington had an Ethics Ordinance.  If they do – the “Search” function didn’t locate it.

This is a link to what Attorney General Lisa Madigan has pertaining to the Ethics Law:

The website also has a sample Ethics Ordinance including this definition:

I filed a FOIA request with ISU for the ethics training taken by Margot Ehrlich.  I received her completed certificate and this statement:    (click to enlarge)

Since she is a State employee, it seems reasonable that her ethics training included the above statement about gifts.

The plane tickets to Japan were purchased on May 12th.  The City deposited her check on June 2nd.

That amounts to a three-week loan.  The only question is:  Did Margot know Tari was going to have the City pay for the tickets?

Do ethic matter in Bloomington?

Bruce Meeks issued the following statement last night:

I have confidence in the professionalism of the Illinois State Police in determining if laws have been violated.  Since the use of public funds for personal expenses extends beyond the PCard purchases, I also have confidence the State Police will investigate wherever warranted.

Additionally, Illinois Ethics Law for persons employed by Illinois State University should be examined since a personal loan was “floated” from public funds.
Meeks is the guy Renner made disparaging comments about in an email last Sunday.





13 thoughts on “Ethics!

  1. In addition to the place ticket purchase what about every other aspect of the trip? Did she pay for her travel to and from the airport, tour costs, , food, lodging, etc.? Or are these all on our dime because of her relationship to the mayor?


    1. I believe lodging for the mayors was provided by the Japanese city. According to the website, delegates are hosted in resident’s homes. Bloomington paid for shuttle to/from airport and tour in Japan.


      1. Yes, usually the hosts pay for stuff once the little travelers get there – so, they get a totally free vacation – WE pay for them to get there and then the Japanese people pay for them to have a good time, and be fed and housed. If there is any doubt as to if “Sister Cities” is a big scam so that certain city employees and “others” get free vacays… there shouldn’t be. I foresee them (BloNo) adding another one or two quite soon – I mean Chicago has 28 of them to pick from.


      2. Ronin, Renner wants to reinstate the Sister City relationship with Cuba. So, yes, there will be more. The Sister City program set up 55 years ago needs to be re-evaluated because it has become a non-for-profit organization which is heavily subsidized with tax dollars.


      3. Skunk, so I am guessing more want to visit Cuba – I guess Tarry enjoyed his little jaunt down there and has told the others – Cuban food IS delicious. Actually after I read what you said I remembered I had heard something about that – I just wonder what the 3rd one will be – I mean, come on, we aren’t Mayberry anymore and ONE or even two Sister Cities is simply not enough.


  2. Bloomington City Ordinance

    Chapter 2 : Section 8B : State Officials and Employees Ethics Act.
    (a) The regulations of Sections 5-15 (5 ILCS 430/5-15) and Article 10 (5 ILCS 430/10-10 through 10-40) of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/1-1 et seq., (hereinafter referred to as the “Act” in this Section) are hereby adopted by reference and made applicable to the officers and employees of the City to the extent required by 5 ILCS 430/70-5.

    (b) The solicitation or acceptance of gifts prohibited to be solicited or accepted under the Act, by any officer or any employee of the City, is hereby prohibited.

    (c) The offering or making of gifts prohibited to be offered or made to an officer or employee of the City under the Act, is hereby prohibited.

    (d) The participation in political activities prohibited under the Act, by any officer or employee of the City, is hereby prohibited.

    (e) For purposes of this Section, the terms “officer” and “employee” shall be defined as set forth in 5 ILCS 430/70-5(c).

    (f) The penalties for violations of this Section shall be the same as those penalties set forth in 5 ILCS 430/50-5 for similar violations of the Act.

    (g) This Section does not repeal or otherwise amend or modify any existing ordinances or policies which regulate the conduct of City officers and employees. To the extent that any such existing ordinances or policies are less restrictive than this Section, however, the provisions of this Section shall prevail in accordance with the provisions of 5 ILCS 430/70-5(a).

    (h) Any amendment to the Act that becomes effective after the effective date of this Section shall be incorporated into this Section by reference and shall be applicable to the solicitation, acceptance, offering and making of gifts and to prohibited political activities. However, any amendment that makes its provisions optional for adoption by municipalities shall not be incorporated into this Section by reference without formal action by the corporate authorities of the City.

    (i) If the Illinois Supreme Court declares the Act unconstitutional in its entirety, then this Section shall be repealed as of the date that the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision becomes final and not subject to any further appeals or rehearings. This Section shall be deemed repealed without further action by the Corporate Authorities of the City if the Act is found unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court.

    (j) If the Illinois Supreme Court declares part of the Act unconstitutional but upholds the constitutionality of the remainder of the Act, or does not address the remainder of the Act, then the remainder of the Act as adopted by this Section shall remain in full force and effect; however, that part of this Section relating to the part of the Act found unconstitutional shall be deemed repealed without further action by the Corporate Authorities of the City.” (Ordinance No. 2004-38)


  3. Margot’s check was written to “City of Bloomington.” The memo line says Sister City ticket.
    Repeated denial of wrongdoing when the facts are presented, personal attacks on those who present the facts is the hallmark of someone who lacks a moral compass. There is definitely a lack of ethics.


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