In response to the defection of jurisdictions from the Association of Racing Commissioners International, president Tony Chamblin said his contract has always been a matter of mutual agreement, and that he has carried out the policies of the organization's board of directors.
Up to 10 racing commissions in the United States have defected or said they will drop out if the RCI doesn't make changes. In letters to RCI chairman Dennis Lee of Nebraska, some officials claim Chamblin wrote himself a check for $50,000 last year without their knowledge.
Chamblin, in a statement received by The Blood-Horse Friday, stood by his record during his 15 years with RCI.
"Since my involvement with the RCI as president, my employment relationship with the association has always been a contractual one," Chamblin said. "In every instance, the contract has been submitted, considered, discussed, and approved by the respective group of officers and directors...It is apparent that some jurisdictions and in fact some members of the board are not happy with all the terms of the agreement. It is also apparent that any agreement under which I have worked has been approved by the majority of the board."
The RCI convention will be held April 21-25 in Lexington. Efforts to retain members probably will be a focus. After the 1997 RCI convention in Boston, Mass., a number of jurisdictions left to form the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association.