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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tour of Missouri: Executive director placed on unpaid leave

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has placed Jerry Dowell, the executive director of the Tour of Missouri bicycle race and the state's deputy lieutenant governor, on five days of unpaid leave because he sent information about a political fundraiser via a Tour of Missouri's e-mail account.

The leave took effect Tuesday.

Kinder and his staff considered the mailing an "honest mistake" but one that should not be tolerated.

According to the Columbia Tribune, Dowell sent an invitation to a fundraising event for John Cauthorn, a Republican House candidate in the 21st District.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a statement from the Missouri Democratic Party that the e-mail "is part of a long-standing, disturbing trend involving Peter Kinder’s top staff mixing their official duties with politics."

It's the kind of tempest the Tour of Missouri doesn't need if it hopes to maintain state funding for the 2010 event. A three-year agreement which provided state fudning for the race expired last year.

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