Marion Fair investigation turned over to Osceola prosecutor

January 28, 2016

By Rosemary Horvath
Correspondent

The Osceola County Sheriff’s investigation into a complaint of alleged misappropriation of funds related to proceeds raised at the Marion Fair auction in 2015 has been submitted to the county prosecutor for review.
Prosecutor Tyler Thompson was in family court on Wednesday and could not be reached. His office said the file will be reviewed.

It is the authority of a county prosecutor to determine if a police investigation shows enough evidence to issue a warrant.

Undersheriff Justin Halladay said the completed investigation was submitted to the prosecutor’s office on Jan. 19.

The department opened an investigation in September after one or more parents of youth exhibitors complained payments had not been received from the fair animal auction held in July.

In the aftermath of the investigation, the fair board had its checking account frozen and all documents seized. President and treasurer of the fair board resigned and were replaced.
Elected president was Daryl Bode.

The fair board subsequently released a statement thanking the community for years of support and asked that it continue. “The current situation has disappointed and deeply saddened all of us. With the restructuring of the board we are moving ahead and will be working together to bring resolution to the current issue. With the continuing support of the community, sponsors and the volunteers who have helped and continue to help, we are looking ahead to the future.”

Thirty-nine fair exhibitors were invited to pick up check payments in October, totaling $37,541.33.
The 2016 Marion Fair takes place June 19-25. Bode said late last year lining up sponsors will begin this month.

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