Regional
1:43 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

State Fair Manager Speaks Before NM Panel

The state fair manager says Expo New Mexico is better now than when he took over two years ago.

Dan Mourning appeared Thursday before the Senate Rules Committee after two contentious hearings this week and a threat of subpoena from the panel's leader.

Mourning told the panel that the state fair is now "financially solvent" and an audit citing management problems is two years old.

State fair commission nominees this week faced questions from Democrats over allegations of mismanagement and a much-debated lease that allowed Downs of Albuquerque to build a larger casino.

Mourning says the bidding process was far from secret. He said the proposal was advertised in the Albuquerque Journal and there was heavy news coverage.

Sen. Tim Keller, an Albuquerque Democrat, called the state fair's sole advertisement in the state's largest paper "laughable."

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