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Missouri school official cleared in Obama rodeo act

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | 10:57 a.m. CDT; updated 12:04 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 28, 2013
This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama at the Missouri State Fair. The announcer asked the crowd if anyone wanted to see “Obama run down by a bull,” according to a spectator. State Fair officials apologized, calling the display inappropriate and disrespectful.

BOONVILLE — The Boonville school superintendent says he's been cleared of wrongdoing in a State Fair rodeo act that mocked President Barack Obama.

An attorney for superintendent Mark Ficken said Wednesday that an investigation by the school district found Ficken was not involved in inappropriate actions or statements.

Ficken was an announcer at the rodeo but has said he was unaware a clown was going to rile up the crowd to watch a bull charge a man wearing an Obama mask. Some initial media reports attributed the remarks to the announcer, not the rodeo clown.

The Boonville School District sought an independent review of Ficken's role after the Aug. 10 incident.

Rodeo Clown Tuffy Gessling told TV station KCTV that he wasn't being hateful but just trying to be funny.


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