Watchdog group awaits Bloomington reimbursement record
The Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) can't wait for Monday. That's when the City of Bloomington has said it will have responded to the ECW's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding reimbursement of an airline ticket, the group says on its Illinois Leaks website.
The city was originally to have responded within five days of the records request but told the ECW it needed an additional five days to determine whether the reimbursement record is exempt from disclosure or required appropriate deletions.
"The reimbursement… “months ago” …by Margot Erhlich for the personal airplane ticket bought using the public credit/purchase card of the City of Bloomington is too hard to produce within five days," the ECW posted. "What is the public supposed to think now? That the reimbursement actually happened as told by Mayor Tari Renner, “months ago” – or shall they be left opining that said reimbursement has yet to happen?"
When the Bloomington-Normal News Nobody Reports (BLNNews) reported that two airline tickets were purchased by the city -- one for Renner and one for his girlfriend, Margo Ehrlich -- Renner asserted that Ehrlich's ticket was reimbursed "months ago." He then threatened legal action and demanded an apology from the BLNNews.
The ECW continued to report on the issue, contending that even if the ticket cost had been paid back to the city, it was improper for the city to use public funds to pay for Ehrlich's ticket. She was not listed as a member of the sister city delegation and doesn't work for Bloomington.