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Firing of environmental panel director suspended

Firing of environmental panel director suspended Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jan 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The executive director of a Minnesota commission that assigns lottery money to environmental projects is no longer being fired.

Vince Louwagie, an attorney for Susan Thornton, says she was fired from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources without notice or stated cause. But he says Thornton got a letter Friday saying her termination has been "suspended.'' He says it was signed by Sen. Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, and House Speaker Kurt Zellers.

He says those responsible for trying to fire her had no authority to remove her. Her firing was supposed to take effect Tuesday.

A Zellers spokeswoman said he couldn't comment on a personnel matter.

Thornton has been director of the LCCMR since 2008. It makes recommendations to the Legislature on spending about $50 million per year in lottery money.

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