Friday, January 21, 2011

Court Orders Gaming Board to Let McCord In

Calling it a “win” for government accountability and transparency, Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord praised a Commonwealth Court ruling that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s executive sessions should be open to ex-officio (non-voting) members like the treasurer
The Court ruled the board was wrong to exclude the treasurer and enjoined the board from “taking any action preventing or otherwise inhibiting the [Treasurer] or his designee(s) from attending and participating in all sessions of the Board (public and private)…”
McCord filed a lawsuit in May to force the board to allow him or his designees to attend the closed door meetings...."The court's decision today is clear, the board's actions were unlawful and without justification."

The board and McCord have been battling over this issue for 18 months.
Senior Judge Keith Quigley wrote in the order that the court was “persuaded by the clear wording of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act…” and the the Board’s arguments at a hearing January 19, 2011, did not convince it otherwise.

As part of the Commonwealth Court order McCord and his designees must sign a confidentiality agreement and a Code of Ethics Statement.

McCord says the would sign those documents. Earlier, Gaming Board Chair Greg Fajt said McCord was barred from the executive sessions because he had not signed the confidentiality and ethics documents. Fajt also criticized McCord for not attending the public sessions like his predecessors did.

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