On April 9, Thoroughbred owner Ed Martin Jr. filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Horse Racing Commission claiming they violated his civil rights and trespassed on his Florida property when it investigated him, reports the Indianapolis Business Journal. This is the second lawsuit Martin has filed against the IHRC. His first was filed in September in an attempt to overturn a ban that bars him from state racetracks. The ban was instituted when he refused to get an owner's license. Martin alleges the ban and the investigation were due to his criticism of the commission and IHRC Executive Director Joe Gorajec.
Martin is suing for $700,000 in damages on several different counts, including allegations that he suffered economic losses, damage to his reputation, and emotional and mental suffering due to being fired from his position as executive director of the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Martin was fired from the position after the IHRC cut funding to the Association “in an effort to inflict additional damage, threats, and intimidation,” Martin said in his suit.
“The lawsuit is baseless, totally without merit,” Gorajec said in a prepared statement. “The Indiana State Police and the Inspector General, which conducted an investigation of the horse racing commission, looked into the same issues [Martin alleges] and found absolutely no wrongdoing by the commission or anyone on the commission staff.”
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