Illinois State Fair Manager responds to beer ticket buzz

Jul 31, 2014

Illinois State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick speaks at the fair’s press preview day. (Illinois Public Radio)
The manager of the Illinois State Fair insists she did not personally consume more than 500 dollars worth of beer tickets she accepted last year. 

The violation resulted in a thousand dollar fine from a state ethics panel. At a press event a week before the opening of the annual fair, Amy Bliefnick promoted the ongoing remodeling and landscaping taking place on the fairgrounds. But her smiled faded when reporters asked about a recent state ethics investigation which said it was illegal to accept the beer tickets from a fair vendor.

"I did everything I could to promote the Illinois State Fair. Did not realize it was a violation, it was a violation. I've learned from it and I'm going to move forward - and that's all I'm going to say about it.  That's the story, and I appreciate it. If you want to ask questions about the State Fair, I'm more than happy to.  Otherwise, that's it."

Bliefnick would not say whether her management would be any different this summer or in years to come.  

A state ethics panel also fined DuQoin State Fair Manager John Rednour five thousand dollars for giving out beer tickets. He'd asked for the tickets -- Bliefnick did not. Rednour resigned from his job in January, and is barred from seeking a state employment for five years.