Neglia Stepping Down From New York Regulatory Panel

The longest-serving member of New York's racing regulatory agency is stepping down, sources in state government say.

Joseph Neglia, first appointed to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board in 1984, is retiring from his post. One source said Neglia, who is close to Republican Party officials, has already submitted his resignation to Gov. George Pataki.

Neglia did not return calls for comment over the past week to confirm word of his resignation that has slowly spread around racing circles in New York. Neglia, who has a reputation as a hands-off board member, is said to be an avid Thoroughbred race fan, having spent the day recently at the BelmontStakes.

Neglia, who makes $101,600, did not return calls for comment. It is unclear why he is poised to leave the job, though his term expired at least two years ago and he has been serving at the governor's pleasure since then.

Joseph Conway, a spokesman for Pataki, declined comment. "We don't comment on personnel-related matters,'' he said.

Neglia founded a paint company and later served as an appointee by former Gov. Hugh Carey to the state Mediation Board before joining the Racing and Wagering Board 17 years ago. He is also a past chairman of the American Racing Commissioners International.

The three-member Racing and Wagering Board, whose members are appointed for six year terms, has vast power over the state's racing industry, overseeing everything from race tampering investigations to how much tracks can spend on capital improvements. It also regulates New York's multi-million dollar charitable gaming industry and has oversight duties at the state's two Indian-owned casinos.

It is unclear who may be in line for Neglia's job, though several industry insiders are already vying for the post, sources say.