Collecting and doling out beer tickets proved an expensive hangover for current and former managers of the state's two state fairs. The governor's Office of the Executive Inspector General announced findings of the Executive Ethics Commission and the punishment levied by the Illinois Department of Agricultrue for accepting the tickets in violation of the $100 annual limit on gifts.
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Amy Bliefnick, manager of the Illinois State Fair, served an unpaid two-day suspension and paid a $1000 fine. John Rednour, Jr., the former manager of the Du Quoin State Fair, paid a $5000 fine, the maximum. The findings included that Rednour solicited the gifts from beer vendors, while Bliefnick merely accepted them. Apparently the managers distributed the tickets to fair volunteers and ag officials.
David Morrison, spokesman for the OEIG, said, “I have heard people say, but, it's just beer tickets. Well, it's gifts worth thousands of dollars. That's where our focus is.” The Illinois Department of Agriculture did not make Bliefnick or anybody else available for an interview but did provide the following statement:
“Ms. Bliefnick served a two-day suspension and paid a $1,000 fine for accepting approximately $500 in unsolicited, promotional beer tickets from the Illinois State Fair beer vendor. Mr. Rednour is no longer employed by the state. He paid the maximum administrative fine of $5,000 for soliciting beverage tickets from the beer vendor at the DuQuoin State Fair.”
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