Boonville Superintendent cleared of any wrongdoing in State Fair incident

The Boonville Superintendent has been cleared of any wrong doing related to the rodeo clown incident at the Missouri State Fair earlier this month.

Tuesday night, the Board of Education of the Boonville R-I School District met in executive session to review the investigative report prepared by Dr. Jim Ritter, retired Superintendent of Columbia Public Schools and Mr. Rick Williams, retired United States Navy Judge Advocate and former Missouri Assistant Attorney General.

The Boonville Board of Education hired Dr. Ritter and Mr. Williams to investigate Superintendent Dr. Mark Fickenâ??s role in the Missouri State Fair Rodeo Incident. Ficken served as the rodeo announcer and was not the rodeo clown wearing the President Barack Obama mask.

During their investigation that lasted several days, Dr. Ritter and Mr. Williams interviewed multiple people and analyzed video footage of the Missouri State Fair.

The report said, â??Dr. Ficken has been wrongly characterized by some who donâ??t have correct information.â??

The report found that Dr. Ficken â??had no advance knowledge of Mr. Gesslingâ??s [the clownâ??s] plan to have someone impersonate President Obama,â?? the skit was â??not planned or rehearsed,â?? and notably, Dr. Ficken had â??no role in the skit other than an incidental reaction to Mr. Gesslingâ??s comments.â??

The report concluded that Dr. Ficken â??has done nothing that would interfere with his role as an effective superintendent of schools in Boonville.â??

The Board voted 5-0 to accept these conclusions of the investigators.

The Boonville R-I School District Board of Education said they are confident in Dr. Fickenâ??s leadership.