Boonville school board begins investigation into Superintendent's role in State Fair incident

Aug 14, 2013

The public portion of the Boonville R-1 Board of Education's meeting Tuesday night was very short. It quickly went into executive session.
Credit Andrew Nichols / KBIA

The Boonville R-1 School District Board of Education held a special session Tuesday night to discuss investigating the superintendent’s possible involvement in a controversial stunt at the Missouri State Fair. 

Superintendent Mark Ficken was the announcer at the Missouri State Fair’s bull-riding event Saturday when a clown appeared in a mask resembling President Barack Obama and asked the crowd if it wanted to see Obama stomped by a bull.  Now, Boonville’s school board says it has hired a consultant to investigate Ficken’s involvement. 

The school board is keeping quiet on the issue, discussing the investigation in a closed session Tuesday.  Board president Charlie Melkersman refused to answer reporters’ questions after the meeting, only affirming that the board has hired an outside consultant.

“The outcome of the meeting is consistent with our news release, and you’ll be able to find out the exact consultant in 72 hours via the fact that the minutes will go public in 72 hours,” Melkersman said.

Ficken, who resigned from his role as president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association following the incident, did not attend the board’s meeting.  His attorney has denied Ficken had prior knowledge of the stunt, saying the rodeo clown orchestrated the stunt on his own.