FOIA Funnies

By:  Diane Benjamin I received a large FOIA from the City of Bloomington this week.  They extended the usual 5 days to 10 and then attempted to extend it even further.  I refused their request. When I FOIA for emails what I get is the same emails numerous times.  Each time there is a response […]

Connect Transit fails FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin On August 29th I filed a FOIA request with Connect Transit: Smart Growth America is the “facilitator” they hired for the Working Group in June of 2019.  See this WGLT story – $53,000  https://www.wglt.org/post/connect-transit-board-modifies-pink-route-hires-facilitator#stream/0 First Response to the FOIA: The due date of September 6th was extended 5 days. Next I got […]

Maybe the last Valente story, maybe not

By:  Diane Benjamin If you missed any of the first three stories, see them  HERE (Videos)  and  HERE (Phone Message) and  HERE (Emails) Judy Valente had settled down until the videos were published I obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.  Besides the phone message above, she also emailed Chief Woodruff.  She is no longer calling him Aaron.  […]

Update: FOIA filed

See what they were hiding here:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 By:  Diane Benjamin I wouldn’t have to file so many FOIA requests with Bloomington if the information actually got posted to their website.  Many are THEIR fault: This was filed today. I wonder if the Council knows what they are approving for payment tonight?  9 hours before the meeting, […]

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 […]

Chambers needs to explain

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve contacted the States Attorney’s office several times about public corruption cases.  I recently received this email from one of their interns: Got that?  Seems pretty clear – the States Attorney’s office doesn’t do investigations! Now see this Pantagraph story about the tragic deaths yesterday:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/police-chief-fatal-fire-appears-intentionally-set/article_77246b93-85ee-5e69-a96b-6de3fbc09d18.html Excerpt from the story: Maybe Jason […]

FOIA Failures

By:  Diane Benjamin No, transparency doesn’t exist in Bloomington! This FOIA request was made on July 31st.  I did receive the information on the dinner at Lucca Grill, I have not received the names of the people money was paid to IACE Travel for.  A second request on August 10th and a third request on […]

Japan: What we don’t know

By:  Diane Benjamin We have no idea how many people went on the Japan trip.  We’ve heard numbers as low as 19 to over 35.  The names of those on this trip have not been produced under FOIA. We have no idea who paid and what the total cost was – other than the bills […]

More Bloomington stalling:

By:  Diane Benjamin Another extension by the City of Bloomington: Maybe the people the City hires just get paid a lot but aren’t very smart.  Maybe somebody at the City is micromanaging everything that happens – even following the law! Link to the FOIA law:  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=85&ChapterID=2 There are no exceptions for redacting who got their […]

UPDATE: Another Bloomington FOIA failure

Today I got this response: Obviously there is no reason why this lame response couldn’t have been given within the 5 days allowed by law. The Grove information came from this document dated February 2015:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=12052 Since many more houses have been built at the Grove since 2015 – Tari is relying on old information. […]

Carol Stream government employee!

By:  Diane Benjamin The first person to be banned from commenting on this site is a lady named Regina Boe.  She is employed by the Carol Stream Library, she’s far from local.  Regina was banned because she has no interest in having a conversation , she simply spouts left-wing talking points.  If she is proved […]

Bloomington Fails FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin This isn’t the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last for the City of Bloomington employees to not care about the law.  Lavish salary and benefits frequently make people think they aren’t answerable to the people who make both happen.  Bloomington employees feel entitled to secrecy and therefore do […]

Chicago forced to stop using Private Email

BGA Forces Release Of Mayor Rahm Emanuel Private Emails, Garners Landmark Policy Shift As a result of a BGA investigation and legal action, The City of Chicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have agreed to release all of Emanuel’s private emails related to city business—subject to any applicable legal exemptions—and institute a new policy that will […]

Danvers is the latest!

By:  Diane Benjamin In the last two weeks I have been contacted by many people in small towns surrounding Bloomington-Normal.  They are tired of being abused by their government while information on spending is hidden. The latest to contact me is Danvers.  The citizens have a new FACEBOOK page to spread information since Danvers doesn’t […]

BGA on Madigan’s Public Access

I was interviewed for this story WEEKS ago, glad to see this is STATE problem.  The story is published on the Better Government Association website:  http://www.bettergov.org/news/illinois-foia-appeals-linger-with-no-end-in-sight Illinois FOIA Appeals Linger With No End In Sight Lengthy appeals process, non-binding decisions hamper ability to obtain records through Illinois Freedom of Information Act. After Edgar County corrections […]

VenuWorks under investigation?

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed this Freedom of Information request with the City of Bloomington: I saw reference to this report in the last batch of emails I FOIA’d. Note:  This request was denied. This is the reason given for the denial: So, one of these is true: The City is so used to denying […]

Bloomington needs to know what transparency is

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington included a newsletter with October Water/Sewer/Garbage bills.  You can see it here:  HERE There are a number of problems with the newsletter.  I wonder whose job it is to put it together and include it with the bills.  The Communications Director? First, the newsletter sent in October is […]

UPDATE: Court again on Monday

Both the City Attorneys and CIAM’s Attorneys have filed motions to dismiss. I have a surprise for them on Monday! ______________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Monday is yet another court date for my lawsuit against the City of Bloomington and Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM) as an intervening party. http://webapp.mcleancountyil.gov/webapps/PublicAccess/TwoWeekDocketCivil.htm Judge Foley gave the City and […]

Bloomington finally gets it

By:  Diane Benjamin Scrolling through the documentation for tonight’s Bloomington City Council meeting, I found this on Page 47:   http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11280 This section is included on a contract to purchase water purification chemicals.  Yes, the Freedom of Information law applies to contractors! My lawsuit against the City was based on this statement. The City is now […]

Now for the Court Update!

By:  Diane Benjamin Ever heard of lawyers dragging on a case hoping you quit? I dragged it on long enough for CIAM quit! Brief recap: I filed the lawsuit when it became obvious the City NEVER checked to see if concession revenue at the Coliseum was paid according to the contract.  It was also apparent […]

Court Update :)

By:  Diane Benjamin Today I was in court again with my case against the City of Bloomington concerning the Coliseum.  This time the City declared they won’t fight my rights to the documents, but they don’t have them. The lawyer for CIAM must not know Executive Sessions (the City’s secret meetings) are supposed to be […]

Another lawsuit Bloomington?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve said this many times, but I will repeat it again.  If I send a Freedom of Information request to Normal I actually get the information I want.  No games, no attempting to circumvent the rules, just transparency. Bloomington will HIDE, IGNORE, PRETEND the rules don’t matter, and go to any lengths […]

Stanford: Where’s your money?

By:  Diane Benjamin First, why is the Freedom of Information officer for Stanford a lawyer?  How much is it costing taxpayers to get information through a lawyer that you are entitled to under the law?  Is the FOIA officer a lawyer to hide information? Stanford residents have been paying an extra $5 per month tacked […]

Another COURT update

By:  Diane Benjamin Today I was in court again for my lawsuit against the City of Bloomington – it’s either #4 or #5 (losing track).  The judge has promised to issue a ruling on January 28th. City Attorney Rosalee Dodson is no longer with the City, at least that’s what the substitute said.  No explanation […]

Coliseum – another lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin The truth about the Coliseum has been hidden from the taxpayers for years.  It was intentional, even the City Council is in the dark.  John Butler’s BMI Concessions is an even bigger secret.  Butler set up a business inside a City owned asset, complete with a contract requiring set percentages of sales […]

More hiding documents from Mayor Transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the other Freedom of Information Act request I filed in October that was completely ignored by the City of Bloomington (Tari Renner).  I spoke about this one at Monday’s Council meeting, see the video posted yesterday. __________________________________________________________________ Diane Benjamin <teapartybloom@gmail.com>                    Oct 27 […]

Bloomington: Investigated again

by:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington is being investigated again by the Attorney General – this time for illegally redacting emails.  I wrote this post explaining part of my claim:  https://blnnews.com/2013/12/27/proof-bloomington-has-no-transparency/ I sent that information to the Attorney General, but there is more to my complaint.  The email from Normal City Manager Mark Petersen was not the […]