Du Quoin State Fair Manager on Leave


By Stephanie Tyrpak
By Randy Livingston

PERRY CO. -- State Police are investigating allegations of misconduct against the Du Quoin State Fair manager.

The Department of Agriculture confirmed Monday that Fair Manager Shannon Woodworth is on unpaid leave pending an investigation. 
According to an email from Department of Agriculture spokesperson, Jeff Squibb:
"Director Flider has no tolerance for employee misconduct and will act accordingly following the investigation."
State Police are over the investigation. They would only say that it's being handled by Internal Investigation. That division looks into issues involving state government.
Since the attractions packed up and left southern Illinois last summer, the Du Quoin State Fair has been through a roller coaster ride of changes.
After more than a decade in charge, Manager John Rednour Jr. stepped down. He announced in January that he was leaving to become chairman at the Du Quoin State Bank.
The state chose Shannon Woodworth in February. Woodworth was a long-time employee and spokesperson. He has activley speaking to area groups about plans for the 2014 season, even selecting a fair theme, "Love A Fair."
Just a couple months into the job, there are new problems.
A report in the Du Quoin Evening Call ties the current investigation to an incident between the manager and a fairgrounds employee, Angela Wildermuth. The paper doesn't name a source, but allegedly Woodworth physically forced her away from his phone. She had walked in on a call.
Both sides of the case are being tight-lipped. Attorney Mark Kochan would only say that Woodworth is his client,  and they want the investigation to play out.
News 3 spoke with Wildermuth on the phone, who also had no comment.
Wildermuth's father also works for the state government. Steve McCurdy is the Special Projects Manager for the Governor's Office of Management and Budget. The Governor's office did not respond to our calls or emails.
We're always looking for story ideas about your local government. If you have a Watchdog tip, email Stephanie at styrpak@wsiltv.com. We'll check it out.
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