Jockey Eddie King, right, in an exchange with member Walter Cullum at the Jockeys' Guild's annual meeting in 2004.

Jockey Eddie King, right, in an exchange with member Walter Cullum at the Jockeys' Guild's annual meeting in 2004.

Tom Sharp

King Rejects Jockeys' Guild Overture

Eddie King, ousted as treasurer of the Jockeys' Guild in 2004 and later stripped of his membership for challenging the previous administration's financial dealings, said he has rejected the new leadership's attempt to bring him back into the fold.

"I'm not rejoining and I'm still not happy about them," the veteran jockey said Nov. 16 in response to a letter of apology he received from Dwight Manley, the Guild's national manager. Manley replaced Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, who was removed after discrepancies in the organization's finances revealed that the Guild was nearly bankrupt last year.

"They didn't make the changes they needed to," King explained. "All the financial information, they still haven't provided that. I don't believe they are secure (financially) and I wouldn't want to be part of that organization. The same people are still there. Two of the directors are still on the board. I wouldn't trust (Manley), either."

In the letter, which was dated Oct. 25 but just released Nov. 15, Manley said he is trying "to repair as much of the damage as I could that was caused by the Guild's previous administration.

"But there remain many things that need to get done and one of the most important to the Guild is to put our relationship with you back on track," Manley wrote.

"The Board of the Guild has directed me to tell you that they acknowledge publicly that you should not have been removed from the Guild or its leadership," Manley added. "You should be commended for the courage of your convictions in taking on the lonely job of telling the truth."

Manley invited King and his wife to the annual Guild meeting in Las Vegas Dec. 4-5. King, a 26-year former member of the Guild, said he will not attend.

It was at an acrimonious Guild meeting in Dallas in December 2004 that King, who had filed two lawsuits against the organization, was expelled for questioning then-chairman Tomey Jean Swan and Gertmanian about the movement of funds within the Guild and Disabled Jockeys' Fund accounts. King has settled one of his actions but said the other suit is pending.

"They want me to sign off on the lawsuit," King said. "I'm not going to do that. I want to know where every penny was spent."

Speaking of Gertmanian, he said, "Here's a man who lied to them and stole from them and they are just going to let him go. That doesn't set well with me."