Kentucky Authority Names Nicholson Interim Executive Director

The Kentucky Racing Authority has named John Nicholson its interim executive director. Nicholson currently serves as the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park and will fill the racing authority position until Gov. Ernie Fletcher appoints a permanent executive director.

Nicholson will step into the role currently filled by Jesse Skees from the office of the inspector general. Skees retired July 31.

Skees took over the position formerly held by Bernie Hettel who resigned shortly after Fletcher dissolved the Kentucky Racing Commission and formed the Kentucky Racing Authority.

"John Nicholson has the background, experience, and abilities to step right in and serve the needs of the Authority," said Bill Street, chairman of the Kentucky Racing Authority in a release. "His experience with several national equine groups matches our expanded mission to grow Kentucky's signature industry. We appreciate John's willingness to offer his assistance to us at this time."

LaJuana Wilcher, Secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, said a nationwide search for a permanent executive director is ongoing and several candidates have been interviewed.