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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DUTROW RECEIVES 30-DAY STAY

Judge Richard Giardino has granted trainer Rick
Dutrow Jr. a 30-day stay of the judgement handed
down by the New York State Racing and Wagering
board last week. The decision followed a 30-minute
hearing in Schenectady County Supreme Court Monday
morning. In a unanimous decision Oct. 12, the
three-member NYSRWB voted to
revoke Dutrow's trainer's
license, effective Oct. 18. He
was also banned from the
grounds of all tracks in the state,
fined a total of $50,000 for two
incidents at Aqueduct Racetrack
in November 2010, and barred
from reapplying for a license
until 2021. The stay permits
Dutrow to continue to operate
his business while his attorneys
prepare and file papers for the appeal. If the appeal is
accepted, his attorneys will ask for another stay while
the case moves through the legal system. Dutrow did
not attend the hearing. Assistant Attorney General
Adrienne J. Kerwin, representing New York State,
argued against the stay. The New York Racing
Association issued a response to inquiries about
Dutrow receiving the stay, saying, AThis matter is
pending before the court. When the court makes its
determination, NYRA will abide by that decision.
DUTROW ATTORNEY OUTLINES CASE Saying that
the 10-year license revocation amounted to Aa death
penalty@ for the 52-year-old trainer's business,
Dutrow's attorney, Michael L. Koenig, specifically
requested a 30-day stay rather than the normal
120-day window to file an appeal. Koenig said that he
will argue in his appeal that the sentence was unfair
and that there was a conflict of interest involving
NYSRWB Chairman John Sabini that prevented Dutrow
from receiving due process.
According to Koenig, the conflict of interest stems
from communication between Edward Martin, president
of the Racing Commissioners International and a former
executive director of the NYSRWB, and Sabini, the
chairman of the New York board and an RCI officer.
Martin wrote to Sabini, requesting that New York
regulators consider revoking Dutrow's license. Koenig
contends that, as the result of Martin's request, there
was a conflict of interest that prevented Dutrow from
being treated fairly. ABecause that happened at the
beginning, it infected this proceeding from the very
beginning,@ Koenig said. AThe minute the RCI sends a
letter to Chairman Sabini, the minute one board sends a
letter to his other board, you have an infection of the
entire process from the get-go. We believe that is
significant. We believe it is a violation of due process,
and we believe the courts are going to find that.
Koenig also said that the penalties that Dutrow
received were Agrossly disproportionate@ to the
violations at Aqueduct, and that his past should not
have come into play and used as a reason to revoke his
license.
AHe was originally suspended for 30 days and 60
days with the underlying charges,@ Koenig said. AIt is
only when he decided to appeal those suspensions that
they brought the order to show cause seeking to revoke
his license. I think it is patently unfair. We have argued
that below and we're going to argue it again.
Giardino remarked that a stay would not undermine
the integrity of the regulatory system, but cautioned
Koenig, Anot to use it as a delaying tactic to get to the
next racing season.
Koenig assured the judge that the appeal would be
filed on time, adding, AWe're very satisfied with the
judge's decision. We are satisfied that we received 30
days, because Rick Dutrow is not looking to delay a
resolution of this case. We are ready to move forward.
We just want to make sure that we have a fair and
meaningful opportunity to do so. That's why we were
very comfortable saying that we can do this within 30
days. We're comfortable with the case, we're
comfortable with the facts and we are looking forward
to bringing this to the courts.

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