Feel sorry for Fazzini?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve known for quite awhile that for Bloomington Alderman Rob Fazzini had sued people involved with the Cornbelters.  Since I was at the courthouse yesterday I decided to pull the court documents. If you ever want to see a file, get the Case Number from Public Access ( https://www.mcleancountyil.gov/137/Public-Access-Search-System ), then go to the […]

Tari REALLY wants sued

By:  Diane Benjamin The Liquor Commission before Tari had (if I remember right) 7 members.  The King wanted to make all the decisions himself, so he now has two assistants, one of which is going to vote with Tari every time.  Only 3 members means Tari thinks and acts like he alone is the moral […]

College Free Speech Lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin I just found a story proving people are tired of University tactics to silence free speech.  A lawsuit was filed against the University of Michigan Tuesday: The lawsuit, filed by the nonprofit civil rights group Speech First, alleges that the university’s apparatus to investigate incidents reported as bias and enforce disciplinary measures creates […]

Normal: Investigated and sued

By:  Diane Benjamin The Attorney General’s Public Access office is investigating the Town of Normal for a meeting they held on January 18th.  No agenda was posted for this meeting.  That is a violation of the Open Meetings Act because the public was not notified this meeting was going to take place. The only information […]

More Partying emails

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder if the City thought I wouldn’t read the massive amount of emails they sent me.  Well, I did.  I filed one more FOIA request today for the pictures they posted on the City’s Intranet.  Correction:  EAC stands for Employee Activities Committee.  If the City is short on employees, ending this […]

Next Lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin Freedom of Information lawsuits are very easy to win.  Documents belong to the people, not government.  When government refuses to hand over complete information without explanation, they lose every time. The “extremely transparent” City of Bloomington is not producing the information I requested.  This FOIA request clearly shows TIF dollars are nothing […]

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 […]

Lunch with people who sue: Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin When the last Downtown Bloomington TIF ended, I hear David Bentley wasn’t happy with the money he got to rehab the CII East Building.  He sued the City in 2014. See the 2014 TIF report here:   ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2014/06402530/14TIF06402530Dwtwn_Cendistrict.pdf Since the TIF was pretty much over, expenses for legal fees were all that is […]

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 […]

Court? What court

By:  Diane Benjamin The good news is Judge Foley is still hearing the case.  She is familiar with the settlement discussions, so I’m much more comfortable with her in charge. Since both the City of Bloomington and CIAM filed motions to dismiss, we had to set another hearing date for those arguments.  I was ready […]

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 […]

court update: VICTORY

By:  Diane Benjamin My original lawsuit against the City of Bloomington for Coliseum Concession reports and payroll was filed September 21, 2015. It goes back farther than that because I had previously filed with the Attorney General’s Public Access office.  Those documents go back to at least January 2015.  I foolishly though Lisa Madigan’s office […]

UPDATE: NEXT Lawsuit

I was notified last night approval of release will be on the 8/22 agenda. Lawsuit pending until then. . By:  Diane Benjamin Laws evidently don’t matter to the current City of Bloomington Leadership.  Government “for and by the people” has become sit down, shut up, and we might get to you eventually. They have until […]

Court Update

By:  Diane Benjamin Making a trip downtown requires pics of almost empty buses – so here’s a couple: Speaking of downtown, the law firm representing the former Coliseum Manager is moving to Hershey Road.  They are leaving downtown because parking, accessibility for clients, and space issues made it difficult to stay in their current location.   […]

Court this THURSDAY

By:  Diane Benjamin Neither defendant responded to my latest court filing! Did they finally give up? Court might get as hot as it’s going to be outside. Start time is 1:15, Courtroom 5C.  The media won’t be there, so I hope YOU are. I’ve been writing about the Coliseum for YEARS.  For new readers, this […]

Back in Court this morning

By:  Diane Benjamin This hearing was scheduled by the lawyers for CIAM.  They wanted further settlement talks. Instead I filed an Amended Motion that has little resemblance to what I have filed previously.  Yes, I met with a lawyer last week who explained what the judge was looking for in words I could understand.  I […]

Court Thursday

By:  Diane Benjamin Thursday, May 19, 2016 02:30 PM BENJAMIN VS CITY OF BLOOMINGTON & CENTRAL ILLINOIS ARENA MANAGEMENT 5C 2015MR000763 . This will be the first time with Judge Foley instead of Judge Lawrence.  Note the new courtroom-5C I have hope she will realize this is a simple FOIA case.  Bloomington quit defending CIAM […]

ANOTHER Court update

By:  Diane Benjamin The next court date is Monday, April 25 – 9:30 am.  Same courtroom as last time if you want to attend – 5D Judge Lawrence will decide whether the amended motion I filed is enough to proceed to a hearing.  If he rules against me the citizens of Bloomington will never know […]

Court: Things changed

By: Diane Benjamin Since BlnNews has a LOT of new readers, allow me to briefly recap the lawsuit I filed against the City of Bloomington concerning the Coliseum. I filed a Freedom of Information request over a year ago for the concession reports from 2014 I also included a request for payroll records from 2014 […]

Big News and BIGGER NEWS

By:  Diane Benjamin I don’t know which of these is bigger – you decide. My lawsuit against the City of Bloomington pertaining to payroll and concessions at the Coliseum goes to trial February 5th. Today I issued a subpoena for: David Hales Bloomington City Manager I have a long list of questions he needs to […]

Coliseum: Lawsuit filed

By:  Diane Benjamin If the Council is stupid enough to pass tax increases tonight based on lies from Renner and Hales, I am forced to do their job for them.  The reason for the vote tonight is so it can be filed before October 1st and go into effect January 1st.  The Council just hired […]

Legal-Some of what you pay for

By:  Diane Benjamin A Freedom of Information Request was filed (not by me) for invoices from Sorling Northrup in Springfield.  This is the firm Jeff Jurgens works for, the attorney Bloomington uses instead of replacing Todd Greenberg.  The request was received including the summary below of charges per month.  The cost per month is HUGE.  Greenburg was […]

Lawsuit: OVER UPDATE!

Update:  See this story:  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2015/03/city-of-bloomington-loses-handwritten-foia-lawsuit-writes-check/ By:  Diane Benjamin My first lawsuit against the City of Bloomington is now over – they finally paid what the judge ordered.  I wonder how Tari felt signing the check?  Is he admitting transparency only matters when he wants things transparent?  Probably not. Maybe Tari can take a lesson from […]

Court today

By:  Diane Benjamin The judge is supposed to make a final ruling today, 9:00 am, in my Freedom of Information case against the City of Bloomington.  She may be interested in an email I have Tari Renner wrote to a citizen blaming me for all the lawyer fees incurred by the City fighting transparency.  He […]

Lawsuit Update

by:  Diane Benjamin Here’s the status: – I filed a  compliant against the City of Bloomington siting 5 batches of emails that were either denied or redacted.  I believe the City violated the Freedom of Information Act passed by the Illinois General Assembly to insure open and honest government in Illinois.  (yes, I understand the […]

Senate Candidate John Bambenek Files Suit to Invalidate Constitutional Amendment Question on Ballot

CHAMPAIGN, IL (October 18, 2012) – Yesterday, Senate Candidate John Bambenek joined a dozen other citizens in filing a lawsuit challenging the validity of the state constitutional amendment on the ballot commonly known as Amendment 49 (HJRCA49).  The Amendment purports to require a 3/5ths vote for any pension benefit increase.  The grounds for the suit […]