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GOP lawmakers fire environmental panel head

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican state lawmakers have fired the director of a state panel that directs spending of lottery proceeds on environmental and natural resources projects.

House Republican caucus spokeswoman Jodi Boyne confirms Wednesday that Susan Thornton was notified Jan. 2 is her last day as director of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources is Jan. 2. Boyne says she can't reveal reasons for the termination because it's a personnel matter.

Thornton's attorney, Vince Louwagie (loo-WAH'-gee), says she was told by the director of the Legislative Coordinating Commission that the decision was not based on her performance but that "somebody had decided to go in a different direction." Louwagie says he believes it's unclear she was terminated with proper authority and he is advising her to continue reporting to work after Jan. 2.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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