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Oct-06-2008 11:26printcomments

Oregon State Fair Manager Disciplined Over Complaints

Investigation confirms confrontations, leads to apology and changed job description.
Oregon State Fair 2008
Photo by Bonnie King

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregon State Fair Manager Dave Koellermeier has been disciplined after an impartial investigation confirmed complaints made by staff and private partners.

The complaints pertained to arguments and other confrontations. After receiving the complaints, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department placed Koellermeier on paid administrative leave September 2, 2008 and began the investigation.

In response to the confirmed complaints, Koellermeier was directed to apologize to the staff involved, and his job description will be changed so day-to-day operations at the fair will fall to frontline managers. Instead of on-site responsibilities, Koellermeier will focus his time on the fair and expo center's strategic direction.

Koellermeier will work out of the department's Salem headquarters office and focus on continuing to build partnerships, forge relationships with Oregon business sectors and industries, and work on a far-reaching plan to rejuvenate fairgrounds events and facilities.

Staff at the fairgrounds and throughout the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department have worked with energy and vision to improve the fair end expo center institution since the Oregon Legislative Assembly transferred the institution to the Department in 2005.

On-site managers at the fairgrounds will work with a different Parks and Recreation Department executive on a temporary basis until the team completes the transition to the new management arrangement.

"The personnel process worked as it should," said Tim Wood, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director. "We used the results of the investigation to respond to the facts of the problem with a fair, prompt solution."

"I apologize for my past, unprofessional behavior and am committed to creating constructive, positive working relationships," said Koellermeier. "We have a lot of work to do on the fair and the year-round expo center to make the business viable. This new arrangement will help me focus on the task at hand."

"This was an unfortunate incident, but the Department has resolved it and the institution is headed in the right direction," said Jerry Underwood, Oregon State Fair Advisory Board chair. "We agree dedicating Dave to strategic issues rather than day-to-day management is the best use of his time."

Source: Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

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