Before you believe John Butler:

By: Diane Benjamin John Butler and his lawyers have been telling media John didn’t know his employees were stealing concession money. Evidently he’s such a great guy he agreed to a misdemeanor and paid $450,000 in restitution just because. That of course was after spending who knows how many thousands (hundreds of thousands?) on attorneys […]

Tari needs reigned in AGAIN

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council held a retreat on November 4, 2017.  The minutes from the meeting show just how bad a City Manager David Hales was.  See them here, rarely do the minutes reflect contentious discussions – you can see some of it here even if they don’t reflect how bad it was:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16276 […]

The CIAM Grand Jury

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 […]

Coliseum trials not close

By:  Diane Benjamin The reason the courts move so slow is lawyers.  The attorney for Kelly Klein filed a motion to dismiss yesterday, but he didn’t sound optimistic when he filed it.  The State’s Attorney has 14 days to respond, then another 14 days for rebuttal by the defense, and 7 more for another reply […]

Coliseum – one guilty

By:  Diane Benjamin One of the 5 charged in connection with the Coliseum pleaded guilty yesterday.  See this Pantagraph story:   https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/guilty-former-bloomington-arena-official-gets-fine-probation-after-plea/article_00b6cb16-2aeb-5558-9614-2a50e543d503.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 One part of the story doesn’t make any sense: ________________________ I hope these numbers aren’t what the entire case against the five is based on.  The commissions don’t make any sense either. According to […]

Future of Joliet city manager said to be uncertain

That would be David Hales – looks like Joliet is way smarter than Bloomington was! https://www.theherald-news.com/2018/10/05/future-of-joliet-city-manager-said-to-be-uncertain/a2qxw45/ City Manager David Hales’ future in Joliet may be up in the air. Sources said that the City Council has begun to consider the prospect of Hales leaving before the end of his contract and possibly before the end […]

Pantagraph fails again

By:  Diane Benjamin John Butler wants his trial moved out of McLean County because of remarks made by David Hales and Tari Renner.  I was also mentioned as a reason because my lawsuit made him look guilty!  Yes it did!   Since MANY readers are new, this story recaps the information I was able to obtain:  […]

Soccer facts plus update on David Hales

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to a reader who sent me this story from the New York Times – dateline CHICAGO:  Maybe this is why the presenter Monday night said the sports complex has to be for more than soccer.     David Hales is acting just like he did in Bloomington!  He spent $1875 attending […]

Pantagraph wrong again, but nothing new

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph thanked Alderman Diana Hauman for serving and for publicly stating she is not running for reelection to the Bloomington City Council because she was not able to develop a cohesive Council. When Judy Stearns and Kevin Lower were members, the Council was very cohesive.  Everything they said was ignored. The […]

Tari on WJBC

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council LOVES their SECRET meetings – Executive Sessions.  They love them so much they won’t release the minutes from when Tom Hamilton was City Manager!  Hamilton retired more than 9 years ago.  The only reason to not release evaluations etc. is to hide.  Some people are STILL on the […]

Karma for David Hales!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington’s former City Manager, who never found time to look at reports from the Coliseum, has moved on to Joliet.  Hales will always be known as the guy who the City Council heaped praise and huge raises on while theft of taxpayer dollars was happening right under his nose.  I know many […]

Just something interesting – CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin Every once in a while I have to clean up some files.  I found a FOIA request I received in December of 2015. It clearly shows that John Butler and CIAM pretended they had no responsibility to the City of Bloomington and the taxpayers forced to cover their losses.  I remember filing […]

Protester, nonsense, and Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s going to take multiple stories to cover last night.  This is #2.  (#1  https://blnnews.com/2018/02/13/when-it-happens-to-you/) Tari has a protester at City Hall this morning, it’s not the first time he’s been there, this is just the first time I got a pic.  He is a disabled army ranger: ___________________________ Last night the City […]

Government for the employees

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington changed the pension spiking policy for all new hires after they became liable for the increased cost – that was in 2012. The policy has not been changed for existing employees.  Why should any person be entitled to a pension they didn’t earn? Employees are getting paid months before they retire for […]

CIAM hilarity continues

By:  Diane Benjamin The newspaper is reporting CIAM (of 111 felony counts fame) is suing the City for commissions they are owed. . . . . . . . . .   Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Maybe the City could counter sue them to recover the costs of the auditors trying to figure out […]

One more retreat note:

By:  Diane Benjamin I reported in Part 1 that Hales blamed the past Council for approving building Fire Station #5:  https://blnnews.com/2017/11/08/49548/ Hales claims the Council needs to assert their authority instead of always taking staff recommendations. Two points to consider: Voting against a Fire Station will get you accused of not caring about Public SsafetyHales could […]

What’s a “bona fide plan holder”?

By:  Diane Benjamin Nobody checked into why David Hales left Bend Oregon after only 2 years and all the records were sealed.  See this story:  https://blnnews.com/2013/09/17/who-is-city-manager-david-hales/ Obviously nobody in Joliet did any independent research of David Hales either since the Council had no idea 5 people were charged with 111 felony counts while he was in […]

Blatant Taxpayer Abuse

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington knew the law had changed on pension spiking in 2012.  They changed the policy for NEW hires, but not for existing employees. Here’s the recap: The IMRF retirement fund was tired of paying for spiked pensions because of Sick Leave Buy Back payments that inflated ending salaries. Since […]

Did Hales change personalities?

By:  Diane Benjamin I thought for a minute somebody had kidnapped David Hales and replaced him with a conservative.  He actually said the Council must lean how to say NO.  He said the City can’t maintain what we have now, but people keep talking about building new things. Library David? Aquatics center?  Sports complex?  Public […]

Monday: Funding Gap! Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s way past time for adults to be running the City of Bloomington!  We are tired of the lies and the abuse of taxpayers by pretending the city doesn’t have enough money because taxpayers aren’t paying enough. End the charade.  Cancel the court jesters.  It’s OVER! They just don’t know it yet.  […]

What David Hales never checked-CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin The 10 year agreement with CIAM to manage the Coliseum contained numerous paragraphs granting the City rights to everything happening at the Coliseum.  Tari Renner, David Hales, and the Council either never read the agreement or are lying because they failed to protect taxpayers from John Butler and company. See the agreement […]

Magnificent Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin The most interesting parts of tonight’s festivities by the Bloomington City Council won’t be the Council business at 7:00.  The pre-meeting David Sage led discussion of Renner’s PCard usage will be enlightening.  I wonder if anybody will ask why Tari still has a PCard? Will Sage ask Tari how this PCard lunch […]

Joliet reports while the Pantagraph refuses!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Joliet Herald News was attacked by the City of Joliet for reporting the truth about their new City Manager:  David Hales. The Herald isn’t cowering in a corner, they are putting the facts in front of the citizens.  They are probably getting a tons of reads, people want real news – […]

The day CIAM quit

By:  Diane Benjamin This is the Pantagraph story announcing CIAM (John Butler) would not be renewing the contract to manage the Coliseum:  http://www.pantagraph.com/entertainment/u-s-cellular-coliseum-to-receive-new-management/article_194a2f7c-d482-5d82-8885-7e5eafddb2b4.html That was March 8, 2016.  Tari Renner is quoted saying CIAM might get a short-term contract to help with the transition – maybe 30-60-or 90 days.  Obviously Renner had no urgency to remove […]

VenuWorks and the BCPA

By:  Diane Benjamin These are a few of the past payments to VenuWorks for managing the BCPA after Tina died: See anything strange? I’ll wait. Still waiting . . . . Okay, according to the dead tree, the City wants to contract with VenuWorks to manage the BCPA for a flat fee of $3000 a […]

Coliseum: Smoking Gun

By:  Diane Benjamin Official Misconduct? Flash back to April 14, 2014 The meeting minutes provide a little information, the video below provides much more.  Minutes 4/14/14 Alderwoman Judy Stearns knew concessions were not audited at the Coliseum.  She knew other problems existed and she wanted answers.  Changing hockey from professional to junior was the perfect time […]

What REAL Journalism looks like

By:  Diane Benjamin Real journalism isn’t dead yet!  The Joliet Herald News just proved it with this story:  http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2017/09/29/da82d31d3ccc4697970889c2a58349a5/index.xml?page=1 This paper isn’t done writing because my interview is not in this story! See this story for context if you missed it this morning:  https://blnnews.com/2017/09/29/hales-if-a-perfect-fit-for-joliet/ Some tasty bits: “That’s the guy you want,” Regis said. “If somebody commits […]

Hales if a perfect fit for Joliet!

By:  Diane Benjamin I didn’t think it was possible to find people with even less desire to serve the people they are supposed to represent than the local propagandists.  But, they do exist – in Joliet. Speaking with no facts is acceptable operating procedure. Believing every word uttered by people playing CYA is required.  Then, […]

Will Joliet dump Hales?

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington ignored what Bend Oregon said about David Hales, I wonder if Joliet will make the same mistake? See this link: http://www.theherald-news.com/2017/09/27/joliets-new-city-manager-leaves-behind-brewing-financial-scandal/at26tcc/ This media source and City employees appear to be as clueless as ours! Quotes: “If there’s a pending criminal investigation, I don’t know who knew,” O’Dekirk said. “I don’t think […]

The CLUELESS are ruling!

By:  Diane Benjamin Attn:  Council If your information on ANY topic, especially the Coliseum, is from David Hales or Tari Renner you are getting “Fake News”. Jamie Mathy is quoted in today’s paper saying the Management Agreement with CIAM “literally forbid the city from having access to the raw numbers”.  SOURCE Jamie, why did the City […]

MY Coliseum timeline

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are some of the stories I’ve written about the Coliseum.   Some are opinions, some questions, and some proven facts.  This isn’t everything, but it’s enough to prove the 5 Coliseum employees would NOT be under indictment of I hadn’t started investigating in 2013! Each link has a quote from the […]

UPDATE: David Hales needs fired today!

Listen to the interview here:  http://www.wjbc.com/2017/09/26/bloomington-officials-react-to-alleged-arena-fraud/ ________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Of course the Council will do nothing to David Hales for extreme S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g of the truth this morning on WJBC. Of course Scott Laughlin didn’t know enough facts to confront him. When a podcast is created I will add it to this story. Hales wasted […]