Two in trouble over State Fair beer tickets

Jul 28, 2014

Two individuals are being fined for violating ethics rules in their capacities of running Illinois' two State Fairs.  Both incidents involved free beer tickets.

The state's Executive Inspector General found John Rednour Jr., the former manager of the DuQuoin State Fair, guilty of soliciting free beer tickets from a vendor in 2012.

According to a report, Rednour asked for "a roll or two" of beer tickets,  which would total $4-$8 thousand dollars. Rednour resigned from his position in January, days after the complaint was filed against him.

The current state fair manager in Springfield, Amy Bliefnick, was found to have been given free beer tickets, though she did not solicit them. That $540 in tickets was well above the cap on gifts state workers can accept.

David Morrison, with the Inspector General's office, says both offenses were unacceptable, especially given what the general public pays to attend the fairs.

"People who go should be comfortable knowing that the Fair is run for people who attend and not for the benefit of the people who are paid by the state to run the fair."

Rednour was fined $5,000 and won't be able to seek a job with the state for five years. Bliefnick was suspended without pay for two days, and was fined $1,000, but remains in her management position.