IG: Employee lived on State Fairgrounds with exotic birds and tons of stuff


The New York State Fair has more management troubles, an investigation by the Inspector General’s Office found.

It’s the third report in recent years about troubles at the Syracuse-based fair. Other investigations found misuse of funds by the former director and other mismanagement.

“The New York State Fair is an institution that for more than a century has been an important summer attraction for millions of New Yorkers,” said Acting Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott in a statement. “It has a longstanding and proud tradition of showcasing New York’s agricultural industry. My office’s investigation revealed lapses and vulnerabilities which undermine that same, proud tradition.”

In one finding, Scott found that fair employees William Cooper and Kathleen Yockell had sleeping quarters at the sprawling fairgrounds. Yockell had a horse barn fill with her personal items, including exotic pet birds, the report found. Yockell, according to the report, admitted to sometimes sleeping at the fairgrounds.

The report found that officials at the state Department of Agriculture and Markets broke procurement policies, including former First Deputy Commissioner Robert Haggerty and former Fair Director Daniel O’Hara. The inspector general accused them of giving unfair advantages to bidders.

The state fired Haggerty, and O’Hara was quietly moved earlier this month out of the director position to another state job. His current status was unclear.

The report’s findings were sent to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and the State Fair Advisory Board.

StateFairPublicReport2-14-13 by jspector


About Author


  1. Who cares? More wasted money, but the cover page does look nice! Have to give them credit for that.

  2. Another day another Scandal when wil it “END”

    It will end when we elect a 21st Century Governor like “WATSON”

    “WATSON” and his “ILK” will lead Albany out of Scandal and corruption and into the 21st Century, we will make Albany “The Nanotechnology Capital of The World”

    Join the “WATSON REVOLUTION” and return New York to the status of “EMPIRE STATE”

    Before there was the “Oracle of Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli

    VJ Machiavelli
    To The Moon, Mars, and Beyond