Atlanta Public Library vrs Facts

By: Diane Benjamin The Atlanta Public Library sent a notice to residents claiming none of the investigations found wrongdoing: The residents of Atlanta should read the heavily redacted FBI reports I obtained by FOIA for themselves. It’s really easy to insert Bill Thomas on many of the blank lines. The Library claims the FBI redacted […]

Atlanta Library’s Liquor problem

By:  Diane Benjamin The Atlanta Public Library does not have a liquor license, but that didn’t stop them from buying MANY cases since 2014.  Yes, your tax dollars paid for it since the cost was put on the Library credit card. In August an investigator from the Illinois Liquor Commission paid them a visit.  The […]

ATLANTA TAXPAYERS SAVED $200,000

Guest report: Atlanta Taxpayers saved $200,000!  Why is that important – besides the obvious?  Let’s take a look at their spending and loans over the last 10 years. . 6-28-08:  Loan #32997.  $100,000 Construction Expenses on Library Annex (Palm’s Grill and Atlanta Library Museum). Library board likes to tell everybody it was done with grants and donations, but they never […]

Atlanta Library ruling

From the Edgar County Watchdogs:   http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/06/illinois-sec-of-state-publishes-order-on-atlanta-library-district-atlanta-taxpayers-saved-200k/ Excerpts: Bottom line? The Secretary of State declined to make the Library repay the Live and Learn Grant, but it did acknowledge everything we wrote about the grant application and the process surrounding its receipt. Additionally, the Atlanta Public Library District taxpayers saved $200,000 during this process, and we […]

Palms Grill – Fuzzy math

By:  Diane Benjamin Previously I reported it appears the Palms Grill did not properly report sales to the State of Illinois and therefore underpaid Sales Tax:    https://blnnews.com/2017/12/19/is-cash-missing-from-the-palms-grill/ I mentioned the next investigation had to be matching cash register receipts to bank deposits.  The same person has done that: The previous story included September and October, […]

Is cash missing from the Palms Grill?

By:  Diane Benjamin Atlanta Illinois Is cash missing or are Sales Taxes just underpaid? An investigation was done by an Atlanta resident based on information she received under the Freedom of Information Act. From April 2016 through October 2017 she found Cash Register Sales were higher by $36,646 than what was reported to the State […]

What is the Library Board thinking?

By:  Diane Benjamin I could be talking about the Bloomington Library Board that thinks moving or adding on is the fiscally responsible thing to do when the only way to get more money for either project is debt and/or tax increases.  It must be immaterial that tax receipts are dropping – progress to bankruptcy must […]

More problems for Bill Thomas

By:  Diane Benjamin Today I received the documents showing Bill Thomas and his wife “gifting” Union Hall to the Atlanta Library.  See them here:   Union Hall Gift Deed There are a couple of problems though.  The documents claim the address is 114 Arch Street, the Logan County Assessor’s office has it located at 120 Arch […]

Another thing Bill Thomas needs to explain

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill Thomas is the Treasurer for the Atlanta Il Public Library.  He writes the checks and pays all the bills for the Library and the Palms Grill.  He is also the guy who requested the $25,000 grant the State now wants back.   https://blnnews.com/2017/11/17/atlanta-library-get-a-free-building/ On November 6th I sent a FOIA request for […]

De-funding Economic Development

By:  Diane Benjamin It wasn’t that long ago the people in government in Logan County thought Bill Thomas was doing a great job with Economic Development.  The Logan County State’s Attorney refused to act even with definitive proof of criminal activity – including grant fraud that led to the Atlanta Library being ordered to repay […]

Atlanta Library gets a “free” building

By:  Diane Benjamin Video here:  https://blnnews.com/2017/11/17/video-atlanta-library-meeting-11-16-2017/ This meeting was rescheduled from last Thursday when the Agenda had not been posted as required under the Open Meetings Act. No one who spoke during Public Comment was excited about the “Donation of Union Hall” agenda item.  The best comment was made by a gentleman who ended his remarks […]

Atlanta Library: FOIA exposure

By:  Diane Benjamin The Freedom of Information Act clearly states the personal information can be redacted.  Employees have a right to not have their Social Security thrown around the Internet! The Atlanta Public Library doesn’t understand that simple concept.  The following was sent to a citizen who FOIA’d wages paid.  That citizen partially redacted the […]

Atlanta Library: Return the Grant!

By:  Diane Benjamin The dominoes are now starting to fall in Atlanta Il. On October 23rd the Illinois  Secretary of State’s State Library General Counsel issued a letter to the Atlanta Public Library District which included an intent to recover grant funds under the Illinois Grant Funds Recovery Act (“IGFRA”), 30 ILCS 705. The demand letter cites […]

Atlanta: Where is $161,238?

By:  Diane Benjamin On 4/12/2016, the City of Atlanta took out a loan at the Atlanta National Bank for $495,000 to buy FIFTEEN ACRES – $33,000 an acre for undeveloped land with no water, sewer,  roads or infrastructure. See the loan document here – PDF page 15  HERE That link is what the City of Atlanta […]

Citizens Fight Back: Logan County

By:  Diane Benjamin Logan County has more than it’s share of problems.  I’ve written a few stories about the Atlanta Public Library: https://blnnews.com/2017/10/13/the-citizens-of-atlanta-saved-themselves-200000/ https://blnnews.com/2017/10/13/atlanta-library-makes-huge-oma-violation/ https://blnnews.com/2017/07/13/atlanta-more-small-town-shenanigans/ These stories barely touch the surface of the problems in not only Atlanta, but now Lincoln. All the controversy revolves around one guy:  Bill Thomas. If the name sounds familiar, […]

Atlanta Library makes HUGE OMA violation

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night I made a road trip to Atlanta Il for their Library Board meeting.  This is a Board under investigation for numerous items including grant fraud, improper disposable of cooking oil in a sewer, and failure to perform audits and report financial information to the Comptroller.  The main offender is their […]

Health Dept: Palms Grill’s Nasty Drain

By:  Diane Benjamin I heard some citizens of Atlanta Il have witnessed employees of the Palms Grill pouring grease down a drain behind the restaurant.  The last time the Edgar County Watchdogs and I were in Atlanta, we decided to check it out. The smell emanating from the drain was the vilest stench I’ve ever […]

Atlanta: More small town shenanigans

Update:  See page 3  Bertrand-Rule   By:  Diane Benjamin This paragraph in the minutes of the June meeting of the Atlanta Il Public Library Board:  http://www.atlantapld.org/board-of-trustees/ . Bill Thomas is a Board member and the owner of the building next door to the library.  He previously got the library to rent the building from him, […]