Updated: 10/16/2012 4:38 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
The Minnesota Office of Management and Budget has opened investigations against both officials. The Minnesota Racing Commission confirmed that Assistant Executive Director Mary Manney is on paid leave and is under investigation for alleged misconduct. The Commission also says its Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Lynn Hovda, is also under investigation. And, in the middle of all this, Commission Executive Director Dick Krueger has chosen to retire next week.
Racing Commission members tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they cannot discuss the open investigations which fall under privacy protection laws. But, Executive Director, Dick Krueger, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the public and people who gamble on the horses and cards at Canterbury Park and Running Aces have nothing to worry about. He says the integrity of gaming is solid and they have experienced staff to handle security and fairness in this time of uncertainty.
The MN Racing Commission reports pari-mutuel betting was a 60-million dollar industry in 2011 and card betting at both tracks was an additional 43-million. With that much money at stake, Sheila Engelmeier, attorney for Assistant Executive Director, Mary Manney, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that she thinks the public should be greatly concerned with such a huge void in leadership at an agency designed to protect the public interest in the gaming industry.
The MN Racing Commission answers to Governor Dayton. We asked to interview the Governor, but a spokesperson for his office declined our request.
In a new development Tuesday, we have learned executive director Dick Krueger resigned. In a memo to staff, Krueger wrote he is resigning "to avoid dismissal and possible loss of his severance package."