Finley Protest Moves Forward, Says NYTHA Election ‘Utterly Compromised’

by | 01.06.2015 | 2:32pm
Terry Finley (left) and Rick Violette

In a statement submitted to board members of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the attorney for Terry Finley outlines the reasons why the recent NYTHA election results should be set aside and a new election for president of the organization should be held.

Finley lost the election to incumbent Rick Violette by a vote of 625 to 611. In the statement sent to the NYTHA board on behalf of Finley, attorney Christopher Green contends that 1,700 out of the approximately 5,500 NYTHA members eligible to vote were not mailed ballots, which “utterly compromised the integrity of the election,” according to Green.

The statement makes other assertions including: that Violette and NYTHA official Jim Gallagher denied Finley access to the membership roster; that NYTHA General Counsel Alan Foreman “worked to support Mr. Violette and undermine Mr. Finley;” that the NYTHA Election Committee was composed of staff that suffered from conflicts of interest including Steve Zorn, a member of the NYTHA Special Committee, who according to Green, was biased in favor of Violette and against Finley; and that “numerous NYTHA members who supported Mr. Finley were denied the opportunity to vote.”

Green concludes: “For all the reasons set forth above, the 2014 NYTHA election results should be set aside and a new NYTHA election should be held using election procedures that comply with NYTHA's By-Laws and a reasonably complete membership roster as soon as one can be developed.”

Green's written statement represents the first step in a multi-step protest process laid out by the NYTHA board last month.

The next phase of the process involves the responses of “interested parties” to Green's statement on behalf of Finley. Those parties include Violette, Foreman, and Gallagher, and the deadline for their responses is Jan. 16. A hearing has been set for Feb. 10 for any oral testimony that may be required before the NYTHA board renders a decision.

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