A former deputy director of the Minnesota Racing Commission, which regulates the Running Aces harness racing park, now has a job at the track, the Star Tribune reports.
Mary Manney resigned her job with the state racing oversight panel in June and within days had a job at the track near Columbus, Minn., north of the Twin Cities in Anoka County.
It's not unheard of – and not illegal – for former state regulators to get jobs in the industries they once regulated – the Star Tribune calls it part of a "revolving door pattern."
But it puts the nine-member racing commission in a bit of a tough spot. The panel oversees a multimillion-dollar horse racing industry at the state's two tracks (including Canterbury Park in Shakopee) and aims to be unhindered by any apparent conflicts of interest.
Manney resigned and got the new job after an investigation into Manney’s oversight, completed in December by a lawyer hired by the state, which faulted Manney for several infractions, including failing to follow commission directives, the Star Tribune reports. Manney received a letter of reprimand later, but the commission removed it, the newspaper reports.
Running Aces has had its share of distractions this year, including an effort by a horse owner and trainer group that sought to shut down the track.