Charles Town HBPA Taking Legal Action Against WV Dept. of Revenue

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The Charles Town Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is filing a writ of mandamus in the West Virginia Supreme Court on Monday against the WV Department of Revenue and its agencies, the Racing Commission and the Lottery Commission.

At the heart of the issue is an Interagency Agreement agreed upon by the Racing Commission on June 18, 2013 that gives many of the Racing Commission’s statutory duties, including responsibility for the Thoroughbred Rules of Racing, to the Lottery Commission.  Those rules govern all of thoroughbred horse racing and directly affect the livelihood of Jefferson County’s horse owners and trainers.

The Interagency Agreement, which the Racing Commission authorized without first seeking the input of the WV Attorney General, also delegated many of the constitutional responsibilities of the Attorney General to in-house legal counsel at the Lottery Commission.  Those duties include day to day legal advice and the correct interpretation of the Thoroughbred Rules of Racing.

“What the Racing Commission has done clearly violates the West Virginia Constitution’s requirement for Separation of Powers” said the HBPA’s attorney, David Hammer.  “The Attorney General is a constitutional officer who has the responsibility to advise State agencies.  This is a power grab by the Executive branch of State government, plain and simple.”

The writ of mandamus seeks an order from the West Virginia Supreme Court declaring the Interagency Agreement null and void.  Although the WV Supreme Court is in recess, there’s always a Justice assigned to monitor emergency motions.  “I’m sure this writ will get the prompt attention of the Court,” said Hammer.

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  • Lynn

    The Inter agency Agreement, which the Racing Commission authorized
    without first seeking the input of the WV Attorney General or Horse Owners, Trainers, and other stake holders, also delegated many of the constitutional responsibilities of the Attorney
    General to in-house legal counsel at the Lottery Commission.

    Those duties include day to day legal advice and the correct interpretation of
    the Thoroughbred Rules of Racing. Rules they (The Lottery Commission) know little about.

    These rules govern all of thoroughbred horse racing and directly affect
    the livelihood of Jefferson County’s horse owners and trainers.

    This is just another back door move by PNGI and their less than wonder boy Eric Zimny to end horse racing in West Virginia.

    • JohnnyCease

      Right. One of the top executives in the sport by far (if not the top) and he’s trying to sabotage racing in WV. I assume you don’t want to be taken seriously when you make a post like this.
      Guessing Lynn didn’t get as many stalls as they wanted or has a different axe to grind. Stay off boards that call for people to post on serious topics please.

  • Rob Baffert

    Executives work for companies with agendas. There are over 150 empty stalls at CT now while stall allocations lack objective criteria.

    The purported cost savings for the interagency agreement are a ruse to hide decision makers from accountability, and unconstitutional. Only the legislature may allow such reorganization..

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