Gary Donahue, who is a party to a lawsuit against The Jockeys' Guild, said Monday the organization has replaced him in his unpaid position as co-chairman of the Disabled Jockeys' Fund.
Donahue said he had not been officially notified of the termination from Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian but that he was informed of the action by a member of the Guild's senate. Donahue said he was told that the new co-chairmen of the fund are Jackie Fires and Rudy Baez, both of whom, like Donahue, are also permanently disabled.
Donahue and former Guild treasurer Eddie King have filed a lawsuit against the Guild, seeking the release of financial information. Once the Disabled Jockeys' Fund is disbanded at the end of this year, the Guild plans to make payments to disabled riders from its primary account.
Following the Guild's national assembly earlier this month, Donahue expressed confidence that the Guild's plans for distributing the funds was satisfactory and that he was assured he would be retained in his position. At the time, Donahue said was considering dropping his lawsuit because "all of my questions have been answered."
On Monday, however, Donahue said the latest development has not only led him to conclude that the lawsuit is necessary, but that he will seek the advice of his attorney about whether it should be amended to include a complaint against the Guild over his dismissal. Donahue said the Guild's action to remove him is a violation of his free speech rights.
An attempt to contact Gertmenian about Donahue's status with the Disabled Jockeys' Fund was unsuccessful.