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Clear Channel Radio, Hurricanes Hockey Team Subpoenaed in N.Y. Fair Probe

Clear Channel Radio and the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team were subpoenaed as part of an investigation into allegations of mismanagement at the New York State Fair, state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said.

The broadcaster and sports club aren’t targets of the investigation, said Richard Bamberger, a spokesman for Cuomo. They were subpoenaed for information, he said.

Cuomo’s is investigating patronage, cronyism and waste of taxpayer money at the fair, he said in an e-mailed statement. The attorney general said he is examining ticketing, contracting, hiring and other management and financial practices. Cuomo said he is conducting a parallel criminal probe of a former state fair director.

State Inspector General Joseph Fisch issued a report this month alleging mismanagement of the fair under a former director, Peter Cappuccilli Jr., including the “squandering” of $860,000 in state funds, and another $829,000 in payroll hires of friends and relatives.

Cappuccilli held a wedding reception for his daughter in June 2004 on the fairgrounds near Syracuse, according to the report. To accommodate the reception, an annual country music concert sponsored by a Clear Channel radio station and scheduled for the same day was canceled, Fisch said in the report.

Sales Consultant

Cappuccilli also hired his friend Timothy Kuhl in 2002 as a fair sales consultant and later as sales manager, Fisch’s report said. Kuhl continued to be paid even after he got a full-time job with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, according to the report.

Kuhl said in a telephone interview today that he did nothing wrong.

“At the time I was in North Carolina, I was an independent contractor paid on a commission basis,” Kuhl said. He now works for the Florida Panthers.

William J. Dreyer, a lawyer who represents Cappuccilli, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Mike Sundheim, a spokesman for the Carolina Hurricanes, declined to comment immediately.

Clear Channel Radio, a division of Clear Channel Communications Inc., serves local communities across the U.S. with a radio audience of more than 110 million, according to the company.

Lisa Dollinger, a spokeswoman for Clear Channel Communications, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Freifeld in New York at kfreifeld@bloomberg.net.

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