Shapiro Probe Should Wrap Up Next Week

Former CHRB chairman is focus of vandalism investigation in Inglewood.

An Inglewood police investigation focused on former California Horse Racing Board chairman Richard Shapiro for allegedly vandalizing the vehicle of his longtime antagonist Jerry Jamgotchian should be wrapped up during the week of May 18, according to a lieutenant in the department.

Jamgotchian, a horse owner and CHRB critic, accuses Shapiro of using a key to scratch his vehicle, a 2007 Jaguar XJS, in the parking lot of Hollywood Park April 24. The incident allegedly occurred during a meeting of the CHRB that both men attended at the Hollywood Park Casino. Jamgotchian claims that the damage to his vehicle totaled $6,700.

"The investigation is still ongoing," Lt. Mike McBride of the Inglewood PD's detective bureau said May 14. "A few additional witnesses have come forward that we need to interview. I just spoke to the investigator and she said that she expected to have it completed toward the end of next week."

At that time, he said police would present its evidence to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for possible felony prosecution.

McBride said police have possession of videotape filmed by a parking lot surveillance camera that purports to show the commission of the crime. The video was supplied by the Hollywood Park security force.

"We have the video and we are in the process of reviewing it," he said.

The 56-year-old Shapiro, who resigned his chairmanship on the board in December, is currently a consultant with the California Horse Racing Alliance, a group of industry representatives. During his four-year stint as CHRB chairman, he and Jamgotchian clashed on practically every issue that came before the board. Jamgotchian became well known for his e-mail attacks against Shapiro and Ingrid Fermin, the agency's former executive director.

Jamgotchian has also filed a formal complaint with the CHRB in Sacramento seeking to have Shapiro's racing license revoked. Shapiro has declined to comment, referring questions to his attorney.