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Democrats Call On Blunt to Fire Official

By Associated Press

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's business development director is suspended without pay today following allegations of a criminal past in Illinois. Randa Hayes joined Governor Matt Blunt's administration in late March as director of the Division of Business Development and Trade. Before that, she worked on President Bush's re-election campaign. The state Democratic Party says her criminal conviction occurred before she got married and moved to Missouri. The director of her department, Greg Steinhoff, says her leave is pending an internal investigation.

Hayes was charged with several counts of forgery and theft in 1996 in Illinois. She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge in December 1998, got one year of probation, and was ordered to pay more than $36,000 in restitution.

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