As we knew, the Nikita investigation wasn’t one

By:  Diane Benjamin

The lawyer the City of Bloomington hired to investigate the computer usage of Nikita Richards was John Redlingshafer.  According to his profile he specializes in:

  • Aviation & Airports  
  • Governmental
  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Agribusiness

Nothing is mentioned about his ability to investigate computers and browser history.   Experts do exist that could have done a real investigation, the City hired the person they wanted instead.

The report issued supposedly clearing Nikita was obtained by FOIA.  See it here: Final Report on Independent Investigation of Nikita Richards 

In this story I questioned numerous websites:

One of the websites was mentioned in the report:

The lawyer asked Nikita about it, she said she has never heard of it, so no problem!

Also ignored was the Facebook conversation Nikita had with Kevin Gerrard during working hours.  (See the same story)

All of the other websites associated with campaigning were ignored or chalked up to “pop ups”.

The lawyer proclaimed the endless time spent on Amazon as shopping for the City.  As I explained in this article:   nothing was bought for the City from Amazon with a PCard listed under HR during the time period of the browser history I received.  For the entire month nothing was bought either.

Kevin Gerrard sent the City links for how to retrieve IM and Yahoo chat messages.  It appears those were never checked.

Read the report for yourself.  It sounds like a lawyer who knows nothing about computers wrote it.  Decide for yourself if Nikita is really innocent.

If you live in Bloomington congrats.  You paid for the report.






42 thoughts on “As we knew, the Nikita investigation wasn’t one

  1. I think this review was actually quite thorough and was of a high quality. When you couple the city’s policy with the fact that proving such accusations beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law would be incredibly difficult. I can’t wait to get attacked for having this opinion either!!


    1. One thing it DOES prove is that either the IT Dept. for the city is inept, (continuous pop up ads) or that there is still reason to believe that Nikita was visiting multiple ill advised sites.


  2. So what your politically motivated stunt didn’t go the way you wanted? Gee who would have thunk that? Perhaps you need to bow out of trying to get people in trouble.


      1. He literally looked at all of the facts after numerous interviews, document reviews, and so forth but yeah this was totally just a sham of an investigation. So you say they should have hired these experts to do the review. Would you have had a problem with the $10,000 – $15,000 they would have cost the city? Moreover, as the report shows and simple searches proves, the software the city uses generally incorrectly categorizes sites due to the simple fact that they system the report for browsing history was ran from is meant for information security and not tracking browsing history.

        Search and read for yourself what that does. You’ll see that it isn’t instant messaging.
        Search and read for yourself what that does. You’ll also see that it is still not instant messaging…yet, both of these sites were categorized as instant messaging.

        Kevin Gerrard can send a million links about how to retrieve instant messages but the fact remains that those records don’t exist.

        You ended your article by asking for us to decide if Nikita is really innocent. 95% of the sites you listed in a previous article have explanations for them but it seems you are unfortunately unable to accept that you were wrong on this one.


  3. Nikita’s supervisor and the director of HR allow employees a “reasonable” amount of time for personal use on the City owned computers. That means Richards may have used the computer for personal use, campaign or her private business venture.
    No where in the report from the attorney hired to represent the City’s interest does it definitively say Richards is innocent of misuse of City property.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No use arguing with “them”….even less trying to reason. She’s extremely Leftist. She’s Black. And she is a thuggish plant intended to take control of McLean County elections for the Democratic Party. In the eyes of the City of Bloomington power structure, from the Mayor down, she can do no wrong.


    1. ” she is a thuggish plant”.

      Well, we get to the heart of this politically motivated stunt. Racism. How many more dog whistles do you have to read to understand why this attack was launched? Both Benjamin and Gerard didn’t just pick any Democrat, they picked the one African American candidate that they could play dirty tricks on shamelessly. It didn’t work. The investigation was through, but because of your extreme alt right ideology you can’t accept the results. Maybe you should accept the report and move on before you’re exposed as foolish political hacks. That’s how anyone who doesn’t have an right wing agenda reads this debacle.

      Your candidate, Michael is still under a cloud of suspicion. How did she use her government issued computer? That’s under review. There are still questions about the destruction of her laptop computer. There are many people who are not happy that this political stunt was launched. It was ugly and totally unnecessarily racist attack. Well, that what we can expect from people who have no class or conscience.



        It’s not offer by a long shot. My complaint is being reviewed by the McLean County States Attorneys Office, and there are other agencies that can handle the complaint if the States Attorney decides not to pursue. Do you always play the race card? If Nikita didn’t do the things she did, then there would be no complaint. The fact of the matter is this, the attorneys were no independent, they were a hired gun to support Nikita. Take that to the bank. The report and investigative process used is laughable, only fools would buy it’s accuracy and you without a doubt, are a fool. Now take your racist loving derriere, and bend over, and let me give you a swift kick in the britches for being so stupid.


  5. The City got a very low-quality report compared to what an expert in the investigative field would provide. It is easy to tell this person does not know what he is doing. A couple things:

    1.) It is possible, due to the City’s poor record keeping, that even the best investigators could have trouble making assessments.

    2.) It appears very few questions were asked, let alone any tough ones. Rather than seemingly do (or be qualified to do) his own work, the investigator relies on what someone tells him. I could only imagine what would happen if he interviewed a bank robber: “He said he didn’t take it…”



      1. Maybe the lawyer used for Richards is the same one used by Renner when challenged during his campaign or the one he has retained for his misuse of the PCard.


  6. STUPID people beget STUPID people and they are breeding and having even more STUPID people and they’re getting thicker EVERY day. PAY ATTENTION folks.. Lest ye wake up and the STUPID people WILL be in control.
    The Democrats WANT Nikita in office SO THEY CAN CONTROL THE FUTURE ELECTIONS. IF you cannot see though this “thin” vein, then you might be one of the “stupid people”..
    OH, but the Democrats blame the Russians, may Nikita is a “Black Russian”


  7. “Funny how only democrats have dog whistles”–
    “breeding and having even more STUPID people and they’re getting thicker EVERY day.”

    It’s not racism? Well then, why exactly did you allow one of your commenters to call Ms. Richards a “thug”? Or allow one of your other commenters complain about “stupid’ people breeding? What connotation do those words paint? They have a pretty big racist taint. Why exactly did you and Gerard pick Ms Richards as a target of a politically motivated attack? Racism. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck despite your protest. Words matter. You and people on this forum are lose with words that lack civility, decency with over the top partisanship. If you don’t want to be accuse of racism maybe you should stop talking like a racist and acting like a racist.


      1. So words like “thuggish” and “stupid breeders” are “allowed” to mean what exactly ? Perhaps you need to understand that words mean exactly as they are meant in the context they are given. Those words aren’t the words of any grown up with a conscience. Those are words of people who want to agitate and gin up divisions and hate.

        You know that this was a racist and politically motivated attack. I’m not “walking away” from what is crystal clear to anyone who has half a brain. You obsessively inserted yourself into the campaign for McLean County clerk, when the one of the candidates was a black woman. You, with the help of another person launched this attack on one person in the hopes of destroying her both professionally and politically. That’s pretty hateful. That attack didn’t work out, now you’re crying foul. It’s you who needs to grow up and accept that if you live by hate you die by hate. The hate and division you give is the hate and division you reap.


    1. BLNO, It might surprise you but my complaint was not coordinated with Diane at all. Futhermore, when you stoop to using the race card, its pretty evident you don’t have any ammo and your guilty as charged. The report and investigation is nothing more than a total fraud. They failed to address KEY elements of the complaint and wordsmithed the report to make it appear that they put a lot of effort and expertise into their “investigation” which really was nothing more than a sham. So, you go ahead and remain a fool. Fine by me. I stand by my claims, and know Dianse stands behind hers. At some point it will be addressed further by some agency. It will not be over until the ft lady sings, so they say.


      1. Yeah sure. And you stating that I use the “race card” means that this wasn’t a racially motivated dirty trick. I know that it was racially motivated from the get go. How do several people on this forum describe Ms. Richards? A “thug, “a thuggish plant”. Sorry that word used in that context is a polite way of saying the n word. This whole sorry stunt has racism written all over it no matter how many times you tell me race has nothing to do with your efforts to destroy a black woman’s life professionally.

        It also appears that the two of you have nothing better to do with your lives. It’s also pretty apparent that you selected one person of color to go after because you both have too much time on your hands. As I stated that pretty hateful.

        I also have to wonder why exactly you and Diane picked out the one black woman running in any elected position McLean county to destroy professionally. Your motives are not pure and the more you pursue this the more racist and questionable you motives appear to be to anyone who is objective in this matter. The only person here who is a fool is you. A racist fool at that….


  8. STUPID people come in ALL colors, NOT just black!! It’s thinking like that which “breeds” contempt and contention.. When people of ANY color “make up” issues to “keep the waters in turmoil” then THEY are the ones who are REALLY the point of contention.. Does THIS sound like Nikita to you??? If not, then MAYBE you should re-think your ideology..


  9. There is NO racial connotation to the word “thug”. Although……I admit I found myself using it more frequently because of the guttural, almost animalistic “Ugh, Ugh, Ugh” grunts of a former President, when he had to respond to a complex question off teleprompter.


  10. Tari Renner is a Thug.
    Tari Renner is a breeder of stupidity.
    JB Pritzger is extremely racist.
    Nancy Pelosi is SHAMELESS.
    Nikita Richards is just a minion being mentored by people like those mentioned above. It’s not the color of her skin that concerns me,it is the content of her charecter that concerns me. Niki is a liar, uses her race to silence anyone that disagrees with her, she is absolutely guilty of using Taxpayer funding and equipment to push an agenda that will stain this County.


  11. @BLNOCITIZEN – you know you’re the one who brought race into the conversation right? The race card was played by you to play the victim and elicit sympathy rather that explore the information presented as an objective discussion. In all honesty I’d like to see racists like yourself be banned from this site.


  12. Setting all the commentary above to the side for a moment, does anyone really think a private sector company would tolerate this amount of non-work related web surfing?! People have been fired for much less web activity on company time. Why? Because it means they aren’t doing their job and are not serving their customers. And to the commenters above, the evidence speaks for itself…digital records are not and cannot be racist. Your candidate/friend got caught, quit using her race as a shield from consequences or an open discussion of accountability.

    Liked by 1 person

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