By Anne Allred
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A rodeo announcer at the Missouri State Fair has resigned as president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Mark Ficken stepped down Monday evening from the post and says he's been unfairly roped into a controversy involving a clown posing as President Obama.
Ficken says he's been threatened physically and fears he'll lose his job as superintendent of the Boonville School District. The school board is launching an investigation into whether Ficken was involved in any of the behavior many are calling offensive.
"He's shaking like a small dog passing razor blades," Ficken's lawyer, Albert Watkins, said.
Watkins says other than saying, "Watch out for that bull, Obama," Ficken was not part of the performance.
"These weren't words uttered by him, these weren't words that were furthered by him. This wasn't an act that was conceived by him," Watkins said.
But even so, Watkins says Ficken has gotten hundreds of threatening emails and fears he'll lose his job.
Meanwhile, the Missouri State Fair Commission instituted alifetime ban against the rodeo clown who wore the mask and who they say made the statements.
Also, some state lawmakers are calling for action to remove nearly half a million dollars in state funding that goes to the fair.
"The performance was inappropriate and offensive," said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, speaking in Kirkwood Monday.
Nixon said removing funding to an important state tradition like the fair would be a mistake.
"I certainly wouldn't support that," the governor said.
This story has provoked more than 1,700 comments on KSDK'sFacebook andTwitter accounts. Most commenters agree that state funding should not be pulled. Many say people are over-reacting to the controversy.