By: Diane Benjamin
Some local media have reported on the grand jury testimony which laid out the case against the 5 former Coliseum Managers.
The City of Bloomington continues to claim they did not know about improprieties at the Coliseum until VenuWorks took over in July of 2016.
The local media continues to let them get by with it. McLean County does not have a credible source for media. You have no investigative reporters (other than me), and you have no one willing to hold government accountable. The formerly “conservative” radio station has abandoned local politics.
Much of the case against the former Coliseum mangers revolves around concession sales. The State Police investigator claimed in testimony CIAM would not allow the City to see micros reports, CIAM employees claim they never tried.
The micros reports are on machines OWNED by the City of Bloomington, purchased for the Coliseum specifically to track concession sales.
Regardless of what the City says, the contract gave them permission to enter the Coliseum with notice and look at anything they wanted. They didn’t. If John Butler was blocking access to records it is still the City’s fault for allowing him to do it. The contract called for specific percentages of sales to be paid. The City never looked at gross sales to see if they were getting paid the right amount. Brilliant.
I firmly believe the City never tried since they had the perfect opportunity when Butler appeared before the Council requesting to change the contract from professional hockey to junior hockey. Then Alderman Stearns demanded an investigation, then City Manager David Hales brushed her demands under the proverbial rug. The rest of the Council and Tari Renner were oblivious.
In October of 2014 I filed FOIA requests for micros reports. Tie this into the previous story today, my requests were denied. https://blnnews.com/2019/01/17/100-transparent-tari-proof-you-arent/
I wrote this story December 11, 2014 https://blnnews.com/2014/12/11/coliseum-you-dont-have-a-right-to-know/
Note 2014 is WAY before VenuWorks took over in 2016.
How did I know shady things were happening and the City NOT know?
I did file a Request for Review with the Attorney General’s Public Access office which they never ruled on. The law says they have 90 days, it’s really whenever they get around to it.
Since the City was ready to resign CIAM to a new contract, I filed a lawsuit for documents on September 21, 2015. I believe this is the only reason CIAM walked away from the Coliseum.
I didn’t receive anything until August 26, 2016 https://blnnews.com/2016/08/26/bombshell-sit-down-before-reading/
I had reported on Coliseum antics for more than two years before the city finally asked for an investigation. David Hales, Tari Renner, and the Bloomington City Council have never been faulted for their roles in this fleece.
Of course, I’ve never been credited for exposing it either..