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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

News Item: NYSGC Appeals Pena Ruling

Harnessracing.com reports that the New York State Gaming Commission is appealing the NY Supreme Court ruling which vacated the charges against trainer Lou Pena.

In their press release announcing the appeal, they NYSGC announced they have (finally) received the hearing officers report and is planning on ruling on it at their November 4 meeting.  This means the Commission has received the long awaited report more than 13 months after the hearing was held, more than twelve months past the due date according to New York Administrative Law Rules.

The original decision of the court should be upheld and the case dismissed and charges tossed.  Forget the fact the way the evidence was obtained was highly questionable, turned over by another racing commission voluntarily without a subpena being issued by New York against the Veterinarian in question.  Even if one was to assume the records were accurate (forgetting the fact none of the horses turned a positive for the reported substances), the question is can a state agency violate their own rules, violate the constitutional rights of a licensee with regards to due process in a speedy manner and questionable methods in obtaining the evidence?

This has nothing to due with Mr. Pena's alleged guilt or innocence.  At present it boils down to the fact the state needs to be sanctioned not only for grossly violating their own rules, but for violating Mr. Pena's constitutional rights. The only remedy available to correct this wrong is the dismissal of the charges.

For this reason, the court's ruling should be upheld.


Post Script:
  One of VFTRG readers has  summed it up best:  "Agreed! This case has moved from one that would determine whether Pena plays by the rules to one of government abuse of power. Shame on the NY commission."