Charges Dismissed Against Former Racing Head

by Associated Press

Former Prairie Meadows Chairman Jim Rasmussen will not face gambling charges, officials with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said.

Rasmussen, who has admitted he and his sons wagered on football games through a bookmaker, resigned from the Racing Association of Central Iowa board in May. He also gave up his license as a horse owner.

Turning in his licenses was the main reason for dismissing the case against Rasmussen, said Mike Mahaffey, chairman of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Rasmussen also is battling inoperable lung cancer.

"He had basically done everything we initially asked him to do," Mahaffey said. "We had been wrestling with whether we wanted anything else. Secondly, we knew that from communications from legal counsel that his health had deteriorated. I think the reason was twofold. We just thought it was time for it to come to an end."

Rasmussen had been chairman of the racing association since 1995. He was among 55 people named on a prosecution witness list when Robert Derryberry was charged with bookmaking in the spring.