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EXCLUSIVE: Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner opens up about leave of absence

Renner plans to resume duties next week.

BLOOMINGTON - Mayor Tari Renner says he's ready to get back to work.

In an exclusive interview with WMBD, Renner says his workload and lack of personal balance played significant roles his decision to step away from his elected position for nearly one month. Renner announcement he was taking a leave on absence as mayor at the end of August, at the advice of his doctor and loved ones.

Renner, in his second four-year term in the city's lead role, admits he struggled to take a break. Though he's taken a step back, he says he never went away -- claiming to have remained connected to city happenings while on leave. Throughout his time off, Renner maintained his teaching duties as a political science professor at Illinois Wesleyan University. 

Weeks before announcing his leave, allegations were made against Renner of misuse of a city card. Illinois State Police are looking into claims Renner used a city credit card to buy an economy class plane ticket for his girlfriend, Margot Ehlich, to a city sponsored trip  to attend a sister cities celebration in Japan. 

Wednesday, Renner adamantly rejected the allegations and claims it did not impact his decision to take a leave of absence.

Renner says there is a lot of work to do upon his return to city duties next week, and he plans to adjust his approach to his workload and accessibility in efforts to better prioritize personal care.





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