Cliff Nelson, executive director of the Ohio State Racing Commission since 1987 and an employee of the commission for more than 30 years, will retire effective Jan. 31.
Nelson began his run with the commission in 1973 as fiscal officer. He was honored in 2001 with the Len Foote Memorial Award from the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
The commission named Sam Zonak, its chief investigator, as interim executive director. Commission chairman Luther Heckman and commissioner Scott Borgemenke will serve on a search committee to find a replacement.