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Race track figure seeks $11M to cover license appeal costs

September 15, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) — A one-time partner for a Phoenix horse racing track is asking the state to cover the $10.8 million that he spent in a legal battle over a license denial by Arizona regulatory officials.

Ron Simms says a director of the state Department of Racing and members of the Arizona Racing Commission were working to help his brother and former business partner Jerry Simms take control of TP Racing LLP, the partnership that owned Turf Paradise horse racing track, the Arizona Republic reported this week.

In court documents, Ron Simms says the group corruptly tried to strip him of his license, preventing him from operating the Phoenix enterprise.

The commission’s denied Ron Simms’ license, alleging he “does not have sufficient good repute and moral character.”

Former Arizona Department of Racing Director Bill Walsh exchanged private emails with one of Jerry Simms’ lawyers and “secretly utilized false and misleading information” to deny Ron’s operator license, the motion said.

The court filing alleges that Racing Commission members who voted to deny Ron Simms’ license are his brother’s personal friends.

Two of the commissioners involved, Tom Lawless and Jay McClintock, have acknowledged they have a close relationship with Jerry Simms.

A hearing on the fee request is scheduled for December.

Jerry Simms’ legal team has filed a notice to appeal the decision to overturn his brother’s license denial.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

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