Gov. David Paterson has quietly recommended a new member of a state board with vast regulatory authority over New York’s racing and gambling industries.
Charles Diamond, who worked for two decades with a Democratic member of the U.S. House, is set to go before a Senate racing committee panel next week for consideration before a full chamber vote to the state Racing and Wagering Board.
Diamond, who had been a director at the Cable Telecommunications Association of New York, a lobby group in Albany, would take over the seat held since 2006 by John Simoni, an Albany-area businessman and former Standardbred horse owner.
Diamond, 56, is being nominated by Paterson at the recommendation of former U.S. Rep. Mike McNulty. Diamond served as the chief advisor to the congressman from 1989 until McNulty’s retirement in early 2009.
A former parks and recreation director and council member from the city of Watervliet outside Albany, Diamond was taught at a private school. He lists McNulty and three other Democratic Party leaders from the Albany area as references on his resume. His resume lists no background in the racing or gambling industry.
The racing board oversees virtually every aspect of the state’s racing industry, as well as off-track betting corporations, Indian casinos and bingo parlors. If confirmed to the board slot that he would hold until 2016, Diamond would make $101,600 annually.