Michigan Governor John Engler moved quickly Friday, appointing R. Robert Geake as the state's racing commissioner.
Geake, of Northville, Michigan, has served as the state's children's ombudsman since November 2001. He is a former state senator and state representative and has served as a consulting psychologist in private practice.
He is appointed for a term beginning December 21, 2002 and expiring December 31, 2004. He replaces Annette M. Bacola, of Grosse Pointe Farms, who had served since 1999.
Racing commission office spokesman Dominic Perrone said Bacola cited personal reasons for leaving.
A year ago Bacola and her husband, Bob Cummings, purchased Steve Stavro's Volterra Farm near Versailles, Ky. Bacola and Cummings, who reside in Grosse Point Farms, Mich., paid $3.3 million for the 296-acre property that includes a 6,600-square-foot main house and four barns with 66 stalls.