Balloon-popping state manager placed in first offender program - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Balloon-popping state manager placed in first offender program

MADISON (WKOW) -

A judge placed a state administrator into a first offender's program after the administrator used a knife to pop a protester's balloon in the state capitol,  cutting himself in the process.

Ronald Blair, 56,  of Jefferson also pushed the woman into a bathroom door.

Blair entered a guilty plea Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.   Blair's placement in the first offender's program allows him to avoid conviction if he complies with terms of the program.

A department of administration official said Blair has returned to work as a facilities manager after being placed on leave in connection with the July incident,  but is not working in the state capitol.  The official declined to identify Blair's work assignment.

Red balloons have become a symbol of opposition to Governor Walker's policies.   Authorities are concerned any balloon release inside the capitol could damage building murals, paintings and other surfaces.

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