Congressional Subcommittee Requests Guild Documents

Congressional Subcommittee Requests Guild Documents
Photo:
Rep. Ed Whitfield
A. U.S. Congressional subcommittee has asked the Jockeys' Guild to provide documents related to the Guild's management, accounting, and oversight of funds as well as information regarding Guild action relating to health insurance policies for on-track accident coverage.

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent a letter to Jockeys' Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian April 20 questioning the leadership and management of the Guild and the use of its resources on behalf of its members.

Whitfield, whose wife, Connie, is the vice chair of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority and head of the Kentucky Equine Drug Council, has requested the information in connection with an ongoing investigation by the subcommittee concerning the adequacy of on-track injury health insurance for jockeys and the absence of such injury-related health insurance for many exercise riders and backstretch workers.

Whitfield has asked Gertmenian to fulfill the request by May 4.

"It's very, very rare that we do not get a response from a letter like this," said Jeff Miles, an aide to Whitfield. "It's likely at this point that there will be a hearing on this matter down the road."

Topping the list of requested items are Gertmenian's resume; a description of the Guild's relationship with Gertmenian's consulting firm, Matrix Capital Associates, which has operated the Guild since 2001; records relating to on- and off-track health insurance coverage for Guild members; circumstances surrounding the lapse of the Guild's catastrophic insurance policy in 2002; and information regarding the dismissal of Eddie King as treasurer and senator last December.

Whitfield also requests information regarding all sources of revenue received by the Guild; a list of paid and volunteer personnel, their duties and annual compensation; contracts between the Guild and racetracks regarding per mount fees and the Guild's use of those fees; contracts with Guild members regarding media and intellectual rights; and records relating to the Guild's creation and maintenance of the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment.

Whitfield also asks Gertmenian if he authorized the removal of assets from the Guild's Disabled Jockeys' Fund.

"Provide all records relating to any plan by you, the Guild, or Matrix to divest the Disabled Jockeys' Fund of $1 million or any other sum," Whitfield asked.

Whitfield's subcommittee is part of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and has jurisdiction over five Cabinet-level departments and seven independent agencies.

  • Read full text of Rep. Whitfield's letter here (PDF).

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