BLOOMINGTON, IL. (ECWd) -
After posting an article exposing the fact that the City of Bloomington, Illinois had purchased an airplane ticket for Margot Erhlich, Mayor Tari Renner's girlfriend, to presumably accompany him on his "business trip" to Japan this week, Renner decided to leave a nasty comment on her webpage.
A commenter claiming to be Tari Renner, and we believe it is, demanded an apology and claimed without one a lawsuit would be filed for slander. He claimed Margot was not a public figure and that she paid her own way. He also said Diane, the author of the article, shows contempt for human decency.
Human decency demands compliance with law and demands Truth about misuse of public funds. Just because you are the Mayor, Mr. Renner, does not mean you get a free pass on alleged illegal activity.
Margot is a public figure/official for two reasons: First, she is a teacher at Illinois State University, and, Second, public funds were used to purchase airfare for her to go on vacation (see the charged ticket, with her name listed, at this link). Would it have been better if the article had been entitled "City of Bloomington pays for Illinois State University employee to vacation in Japan"? It might have been slightly more accurate, but we all know it never would have happened without Renner's influence.
If Margot paid her own way, then why was there a charge for her airfare, voted on and approved by the Bloomington City Council?
Whether or not any funds were ever "reimbursed" for that purchase is irrelevant, you cannot un-rob a bank once you rob it. The alledged rime, or at least part of it, was the "USE" of public funds, property, or credit. The former Mayor of Pekin, Illinois could probably enlighten Renner on the consequences of this constitutional violation - read about his felony conviction for illegal public credit card use, and the Supreme Court's upholding of the conviction HERE.
An apology? Tari, an apology is what you owe the citizens and taxpayers of Bloomington for bringing more embarrassment to the City of Bloomington and for using the city's public funds and credit for illegal purposes.