MN Racing Commission Chair Defends Integrity of Gambling

Updated: 10/18/2012 9:22 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

Racing Commission Chairman, Jesse Overton, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the public can trust gambling regulation in the state.  Overton responded to recent criticism over the trustworthiness of gambling regulation after 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS broke the story about two top Racing Commission officials who are under investigation. 

Assistant Executive Director, Mary Manney, is on paid leave under investigation for alleged misconduct. Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Lynn Hovda, is also under investigation. She told us she is accused of giving medication to horses to avoid heat stroke without the owner's permission. Dr. Hovda emphatically denies her investigation has anything to do with gambling or horse racing. Dr. Hovda insists she followed professional protocol and administered the medications with the owner's approval. And, she says, her investigation is not connected with Mary Manney's.

When we talked with Overton just prior to a scheduled Racing Commission meeting, he defended the Commission and asserted that it is one of the finest Commission's in the country and that horse betting and card gambling have not been compromised. Overton told us he cannot discuss the details of the investigations because they have not been wrapped up yet. In the middle of all this, Racing Commission Executive Director, Dick Krueger, has retired.

Governor Dayton appointed Overton as Chair of the Racing Commission last year. The Governor's Office declined to comment on the current issues under investigation.