The manager of the North Iowa Fair is now on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into financial irregularities and misuse of fair money. At last night’s fair board meeting in Mason City, president Dennis Higgins says he decided to place Wanda Kruse on leave on Tuesday afternoon.
Higgins says the action came about after a discussion with the board’s attorney, as it was not something covered in the board’s by-laws. He says he acted on his own. Higgins says he requested Kruse turn over her keys and any computer passwords and leave the fairgrounds office. He also told Kruse she and her family members are not to be on fairgrounds property until further notice or be subject to criminal trespassing charges.
Higgins says the Mason City police have started an investigation into financial transactions within the fair office. In putting her on administrative leave, he says he told Kruse about his concerns over those financial activities as well as her “unprofessional dealings with the general public as well as our clients.”
Higgins says a forensic audit will take place and access to fair bank accounts have been restricted, with holds placed on any checks that are presented until they can be reviewed. The fair board met in a closed session last night to learn more about the investigation, but no further actions against Kruse were taken. It’s not been said how much money may be involved.
Thanks to Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City