Accountant resigns amid ExpoPark investigation

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News,Business,Watchdog

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana ExpoPark accountant who was put on paid administrative leave around the time Cascade County began a "complex financial investigation" into the facility has resigned.

The investigation into the county-owned sports and entertainment facility has been underway since March, but Friday was the first time County Attorney John Parker indicated the reason. The county turned the investigation over to the attorney general's office Monday.

"This is an ongoing investigation and our office is handling the prosecution," John Barnes, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, told the Great Falls Tribune (http://gftrib.com/1eWAEh6 ).

ExpoPark is home to the Montana State Fair, state high school sports tournaments, pro rodeo and other community events.

County human resources director Dewey Goering told the newspaper that accountant Claree Kelly resigned April 16. Kelly and ExpoPark's general manager were placed on paid leave March 7. County officials have not said if that is related to the investigation.

Kelly's attorney, Steve Potts, said county commissioners have asked her not to comment.

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com

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