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Wisconsin State Fair Fires Executive Director

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CelebrityAccess) — After a lengthy closed-door meeting, the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to immediately terminate the employment of State Park Fair executive director Rick Frenette.

According to the Green Bray Press-Gazette, the board moved to terminate Frenette from his position after discovering that he had allegedly awarded a group of senior employees, including himself, merit compensation.

"There was a submission of a request for merit pay increases for a number of individuals who are executives that went through," Gimbel told the Press-Gazette. "The allegation was that it was in contravention of the rules and regulations of the Department of Administration method of dealing with those matters."

"For all intents and purposes Rick admitted that there was some negligence in his oversight of that process. There was no intention, there was no illicit or illegal behavior on his behalf," Gimbel added, noting that the amounts were in the thousands of dollars and not hundreds of thousands of dollars range.

The motion to fire Frenette was made by state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), one of several legislators who sit on the board, the Press-Gazette said.

Frenette has held the post since 2010. Previous positions include senior roles at the Minnesota State Fair, where he served as director of finance and an 11-year stint as general manager at the Ohio State Fair.

The State Fair Park Board has appointed Kathleen O'Leary to serve as Interim State Fair CEO to oversee the event, which kicks off for 2016 in less than three months. – Staff Writers