Bloomington City Hall Drops Restraining Order Against Radio Station Reporter

Mayor Tari Renner
Mayor Tari Renner

It appears that someone with half of a brain got a hold of Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and the city’s Communications Director Nora Dukowitz in the last day or two and explained to them how foolish their attempted attack on the Freedom of the Press was and is.

Late on Wednesday Josh “Fistbump” Schmidgall and Cities 92.9 morning host Ian Bayne were informed that a restraining order against Schmidgall, whose a reporter for the station, was being dropped ahead of Thursday mornings initial court hearing.  No word from Dukowitz or Mayor Renner as to why the “stalking” restraining order was not longer going to be pursued.

For weeks Schmidgall and Bayne have been trying to get Mayor Renner and Dukowitz to answer questions concerning a pay raise for the City Manager and a multi-million dollar taxpayer financed downtown hotel project when the city has been raising fees and taxes to cover a multi-million dollar deficit.

For weeks neither Dukowitz or Renner would answer any questions about those issues.  In mid May Schmidgall emailed Dukowitz again asking about the pay raise and hotel deal with no reply so he went to her apartment, knocked on the door, and left his business card on the door when no one answered.

That absolutely normal behavior on the part of a journalist/reporter was so upsetting to Dukowitz and Renner(who practically admitted later during a city council meeting that he was behind the restraining order) that they sought to have a Judge bar Schmidgall and Cities 92.9 from city hall and to have Schmidgall’s Second Amendment rights curtailed.

Clearly a combination of media criticism, public outrage, and the legal advice of someone whose watched an episode of 60 Minutes or Law & Order forced Renner and Dukowitz to back down on their preposterous attempt to use the law to silence a press looking out for the people of Bloomington.