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Allegations of impropriety alleged in lawsuit brought against North Iowa Fair

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – A lawsuit was filed Monday in Iowa District Court by former North Iowa Fair Director Wanda Kruse against the North Iowa Fair Association.

Kruse was fired by the fair association in July of 2010 and charged with 5th degree theft.  She was found guilty of misappropriating funds of no more than $200.

In the lawsuit, Kruse alleges that she was wrongfully terminated from her position as fair director and never given a reason for the termination.

Kruse claims in the lawsuit that she refused to carry out certain acts prohibited by Iowa code 174.2, namely compensating certain officers of the North Iowa Fair Association.  The lawsuit specifically names Fair Board President Dennis Higgins (pictured, right), who is known to set up sound systems for performances at the fairgrounds.  One source says that Higgins has set up a speaker system that belongs to him numerous times at the fairgrounds, and then asked for compensation from the fair.  The source says that Higgins normally charges between $600 and $1000 per event.

The lawsuit says that when Kruse refused to pay Higgins, within two weeks she was escorted off the fairgrounds property by Mason City Police.

The lawsuit says that this refusal to pay Higgins and possibly other fair association officers was the “determinative factor” in their termination of her employment there.  The lawsuit says that this was a violation of public policy of the State of Iowa and that Kruse has suffered damages.

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages; an amount was not named.

Higgins has so far refused to return phone calls to NIT and also refused an interview request made last week.


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