The New York Racing Association, which is the subject of an ongoing state investigation into inaccurate take-out rates, released a statement Wednesday in response to a letter sent by John Sabini of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and Robert Megna of the Franchise Oversight Board calling into question the validity of the organization's recent elections and the continuation of its casino subsidies.
Of its recent election of Ellen McClain and Kenneth Handal as president and secretary, respectively, NYRA's statement read, "NYRA's Board acted to insure that there was professional management in place to operate a complex business which has a significant economic impact on New York State. The NYRA Board has a fiduciary obligation to exercise its business judgment to protect the best interests of racing and the income stream that pari-mutuel wagering provides to the state."
The statement added that neither the Racing and Wagering Board nor the Franchise Oversight Board had authority over the naming of NYRA officers.
The statement concludes, "The suggestion in the May 15, 2012 letter from Chairman Sabini and Chairman Megna that the NYRA Board and other NYRA executives have a potential role in the improper take-out investigation, thereby making the NYRA Board's action inappropriate, is flawed. This reasoning would effectively paralyze the corporation based on innuendo. The Inspector General's investigation is ongoing and there should not be a rush to judgment until a final report is issued, and due process is provided."