Deadline to Appoint Head of Racing Commission Nears

Posted at: 06/27/2013 8:03 PM
Updated at: 06/27/2013 11:13 PM
By: Jay Kolls

Another top official has resigned at the Minnesota Racing Commission. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned Assistant Executive Director, Mary Manney, resigned earlier this week. A year ago, the Executive Director retired under protest while there were three investigations happening within the Racing Commission at the same time.  When former Executive Director, Richard Krueger, retired last year he told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he did not have a lot of faith in Racing Commission Chairman, Jesse Overton. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned an employee filed a discrimination complaint against Mr. Overton last year and State officials have not yet released the findings of that investigation.

The attorney for Mary Manney, Sheila Engelmeier, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she has urged Governor Dayton to not reappoint Jesse Overton to a new term as Racing Commission Chairman. Dayton has until Sunday to make up his mind about Overton's future. A spokesperson for Governor Dayton tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the Governor is still reviewing all of his appointments and no decision has been made on Mr. Overton's future yet. The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association supports Mr. Overton's reappointment. But, there is not the same support for Mr. Overton at Running Aces Harness track in Columbus.

The Minnesota Racing Commission regulates horse and card gambling at Canterbury Park and Running Aces. Combined, gambling at both venues, is an industry that brings in more than $100-million a year and employs more than a thousand people. We asked Mr. Overton for an interview, but he respectfully declined.