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Fairgrounds settle lawsuit brought by Wanda Kruse; updated with statement from Kruse

MASON CITY – A lawsuit brought by former North Iowa Fair Manager Wanda Kruse has been settled.

The North Iowa Fair Association settled with Kruse on July 26th, 2013 for an undisclosed amount.

Dennis Higgins is no longer a member of the North Iowa Fair Board.  In this photo, Higgins was setting up digital equipment to help film mourners outside a funeral in downtown Mason City in 2011.)
Dennis Higgins is no longer a member of the North Iowa Fair Board. In this photo, Higgins was setting up digital equipment to help film mourners outside a funeral in downtown Mason City in 2012.

Kruse sought damages after she claimed to be wrongfully terminated from her position at the fairgrounds as manager.  Kruse claimed that she was railroaded out of her position by (at the time) fair board president Dennis Higgins and another fair board member when she refused to continue paying them for services they were performing at the fairgrounds.

In her lawsuit, Kruse noted that Iowa code states that fair board members cannot be paid to perform services at a fairgrounds. (174.2 POWERS OF A FAIR. “No salary or compensation of any kind shall be paid to the president, vice president, treasurer, or to a director of the fair.”)

On Friday, Kruse told NIT that her reputation had been harmed when she was fired from her job at the fairgrounds.  She said that Higgins and the other fair board member had called police when they learned they could no longer work for the fair and get paid, and that they directed Mason City police to escort her off the fair grounds on May 10th, 2010.  Kruse said that after Higgins became Fair Board President, a felony theft charge was brought against her.  The fair claimed that about $5,000 was missing after an internal investigation .  The felony D theft charge was later reduced to theft in the 5th degree after it was discovered that only about $30 was missing from fair receipts that could be tied to Kruse; she was found guilty and fined.

Kruse also said on Friday that “the Globe Gazette has written 117 articles about me.  Let’s see if they do number 118.”

STATEMENT FROM WANDA KRUSE, JULY 30TH, 2013:

I visited with Matt on Friday, July 26th, late in the day. I did get a settlement, I do have “check in hand”. There is so much more to this story than I can say right now. For the last 4 years I couldn’t speak about this per my attorneys advice. KIMT and the Globe Gazette DID NOT contact me regarding the dismissing of the court case, they wrote and reported the story with no facts, they were guessing and that was approx. the 118th story they guessed on. There will not be a court case because of the settlement. There was 3 trailer loads of things at my house, the fairgrounds was 6 weeks from the fair and we were storing the items until after the fair and then it was to be brought back. As far as the Rockwell Golf Course please talk to the loan officer in Rockwell and he will explain to you he messed up and put my personal loan in the Golf Course Account and then transferred it into my personal account. He then gave statements to a new board member who was not authorized on the account and the new board member ran across this transaction and told people I had stole the money. I did nothing wrong and I quit the Golf Course because the whole board quit also. By the way now he is also a board member.

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