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NYRA Fires CEO And Senior VP

Published: May 7, 2012 2:05 pm ET

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Charles Hayward, the recently-fired former president and CEO of the New York Racing Association, has gone on the record as saying that he expects to be fully exonerated from the allegations which led to his dismissal.

Hayward has gone on the record as saying that the damning New York State Racing and Wagering Board report which led to his firing, as well as the firing of NYRA Senior VP and General Counsel Patrick Kehoe, was flawed and incomplete.

A report by The Saratogian has quoted Hayward as saying that he is looking forward to the NYSRWB and the New York Inspector General completing the report which led to the firings.

The article also quotes Hayward as saying that he is disappointed in the decision by NYRA's board to let him go.

“The interim report badly misinterprets the documents and was prepared without interviewing me or any other individuals relevant to their investigation,” Hayward said via release from his attorney.

He went on to say, “I look forward to the Racing and Wagering Board and the New York Inspector General completing their investigations as expeditiously as possible. I expect to be fully exonerated when all of the facts come out.”

Addressing the situation this past December, Hayward had been quoted in a Daily Racing Form article that he was responsible for the situation, given his position within the organization. "I'm the CEO, ultimately I'm responsible," Hayward was quoted as saying in the DRF report. "If you're looking to blame somebody, that'd be me. The buck stops here. There's a lot of people both inside NYRA and the state that had the opportunity to review that and the bottom line is we missed it."

An investigation had been started when it was found out that instead of lowering takeout on the exotic wagers by one per cent (to 24%), NYRA had actually increased the takeout by one per cent (to 26%), which, according to NYRA, was an "unintentional oversight." That oversight, which ended up costing punters roughly $8.6-million, went on for more than 15 months. NYRA later went on to state that it could not trace all of the overcharged wagers.

In light of the NYSRWB report, NYRA's board had placed Hayward and Kehoe on unpaid leave early last week before announcing their termination on Friday, May 4.

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