State Scolds NYRA over Appointees

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State officials are threatening to replace the New York Racing Association, which runs two race tracks in the metro region.

The state Racing and Wagering Board said that the association continues to act inappropriately and isn't serving the best interests of racing or taxpayers.

Board members say they're angry that the racing association appointed a new president and secretary without getting their names approved first.

Chief operating office Ellen McClain was named NYRA president on Monday, while acting general counsel Kenneth Handal was named secretary.

The board says it needs to ensure the appointees pose no conflicts of interest in light of an investigation into the association's two previous top officers. They were fired after the state began probing $8.5 million dollars in winnings that wasn't paid to bettors.

Former CEO Charlie Hayward blamed the incident on an error in the amount that the Association withheld from the betting pool.

With the Associated Press