* The SJ-R looks at Illinois Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza’s investigation of State Fair Director Amy Bliefnick for accepting free beer tickets…
“There is no evidence that she schemed to obtain the tickets,” the report said. “Rather, the unsolicited gift of beer tickets from the vendor to the fair director appears to be a long-standing, albeit unlawful, practice.”
The report said that the 2013 contract with CVA expressly says that free tickets are not to be given to anyone.
For statute-of-limitation purposes, Bliefnick was only charged with violating the gift ban during the 2013 fair when she accepted at least 120 beer tickets valued at $540. Each ticket is worth $4.50.
The report said Bliefnick distributed the tickets to senior Department of Agriculture officials, her staff, fair volunteers and fair patrons.
The report said the Department of Agriculture suspended Bliefnick for two days without pay based on allegations in the report. The suspension cost her about $754, it said.
“As noted in the report, as State Fair manager I accepted the tickets for distribution only to promote the fair,” Bliefnick said in a statement. “This practice will no longer continue at the fair. I learned a valuable lesson and look forward to a great State Fair this year.”
The full report is here.
* The Question: Your thoughts on this particular investigation and punishment of Bliefnick?