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Garrison Keillor: MPR fired me without a full investigation



Garrison Keillor says Minnesota Public Radio was wrong to fire him last week without fully investigating what a top executive has described as "multiple allegations" covering a long period against the former host "A Prairie Home Companion ". [19659002] Jon McTaggart CEO of the parent company of MPR, American Public Media Group, addressed the issue at an employee meeting on Wednesday. McTaggart did not provide details of the allegations against the 75-year-old veteran broadcaster, saying he had only shared them with lawyers and board members.

The MPR News reporters refused to attend the meeting because its content had been declared void. the registry, but compiled a report based on interviews with colleagues who did.

In a statement on Thursday morning, MPR insisted that it conducted an adequate review. The statement said that two people previously associated with the program alleged "multiple incidents of inappropriate behavior" by Keillor, although only one claimed that the behavior was directed at her. The station said it did not release additional details because both want privacy.

"The allegations were carefully investigated before MPR made the decision to terminate the contracts with Mr. Keillor," the statement said.

Keillor announced Nov.30 that MPR had rescinded its contracts after four decades of entertaining public radio listeners with tales of small-town characters. He said he was fired for "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version that MPR heard." Keillor did not provide details to the Associated Press, but later told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he had placed his hand on a woman's bare back while trying to comfort her.

Keillor retired as a presenter of "A Prairie Home Companion" in 201

6, but continued working for MPR in several projects.

McTaggart said on Wednesday that no one else in the company knows the content of the "multiple accusations" against Keillor that span a prolonged period of time.

Keillor told the Associated Press in an email later on Wednesday that he was not at the meeting organized by McTaggart, so he could not provide details of what was said. But he expressed disappointment at the company's response to the accusations.

"I hope to deal with MPR soon to try to repair the huge mistake they have made by not conducting a full and fair investigation," he said.

Keillor's attorney e-mailed a statement to the AP early Thursday, noting that they know the allegations made by "an individual."

"We are confident that Mr. McTaggart will clarify things in this regard to avoid any misperception on that point," Eric Nilsson said in the statement.

Keillor said he wants the matter resolved quickly and "with it he expects a complete restoration of his reputation," Nilsson said.

"A Prairie Home Partner" continues with Keillor's selected successor, mandolinist Chris Thile.


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