Gov. Andrew Cuomo is clearly not pleased with the latest betting scandal at the New York Racing Association, suggesting today that fixes to the troubled authority might be part of his short list of legislative goals before the Legislature adjourns in June.
NYRA President and CEO Charlie Hayward and Patrick Kehoe, senior vice president and general counsel, were placed on unpaid leave Monday after a Racing and Wagering Board report detailed their knowledge of incorrect payouts to winners over a 15-month period.
The troubles at NYRA come as Cuomo is looking to consolidate the entities that oversee gambling in the state, such as the Lottery Division, the Racing and Wagering Board and NYRA.
The NYRA woes — the latest in the string of fiscal problems — may offer him an early opening to put all the gambling entities under one authority. The state Legislature last month passed the first of two constitutional amendments to legalize casino gambling in the state.
“A recent issue that came up is more problems at NYRA,” Cuomo said on the Capitol Pressroom radio show. “There’s been a seemingly non-ending series of issues with NYRA; horse deaths recently that’s being probed and now some financial irregularities. So that’s probably the short list.”
The other items on the short list: Campaign finance reform, minimum wage and whether to make teacher evaluations public, Cuomo said.