Our annual night at the races with Representative Jay Hoffman was held Saturday night and some 130 people made it a smashing success. We’ve held this event for the last 11 0r 12 years in an effort to thank Jay for getting legislation passed to help the horsemen at Fairmount. This year of course he sponsored and passed H.B. 335 which extends the A.D.W. law until December 31, 2018.
Good news from Springfield! The Senate Executive Committee just passed H.B. 335. It will now go to the Senate floor. The bill extends the A.D.W. law until December 31, 2018 which is very good news for Fairmount horsemen.
May 5th, 2016
The lawsuit filed by 22 members against the IHBPA and IHBPA management has been resolved pursuant to a voluntary settlement agreement between the parties. On April 22, 2016, the Circuit Court of Madison County issued an order granting final approval of that settlement. The undersigned attorney has served as counsel for the IHBPA in connection with the lawsuit and the resolution of it by settlement. Given the possibility of confusion and mischaracterizations about the course of the lawsuit and the nature of the settlement, the following facts should be understood:
While the allegations made by the plaintiffs during the lawsuit included many accusations directed at the various individuals charged with management of the IHBPA, including the Executive Director, the President and members of the Board of Directors, there was no determination by the court that there has been any mismanagement, conflict of interest, misuse of funds, or any other form of wrongdoing, breach of fiduciary duty or mismanagement. The settlement of the case does not entail any finding of wrongdoing or any admission or concession of any misconduct or impropriety whatsoever. In fact, the IHBPA was in no way forced to settle; rather, after good faith negotiations between the parties, which culminated in the plaintiffs agreeing to dismiss and release their claims against the defendants in exchange for the IHBPA agreeing to advance the timing of the 2016 elections, it made perfect sense for the IHBPA and the individual defendants to agree to the proposed terms. The parties demonstrated prudence and reasonableness in arriving at this agreement.
The lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs caused the IHBPA to incur tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses; however, the IHBPA voluntarily undertook the actions that plaintiffs have claimed were compelled by filing the lawsuit. It is absolutely not true that the IHBPA spent money on legal fees to prevent the plaintiffs, or any members of the association, from having access to the IHBPA’s records. At the time the lawsuit was first filed, the IHBPA already had engaged counsel to arrange for the production of association records and to retain an independent CPA to perform a financial review of the association’s books and records. Then, after the lawsuit was filed, the IHBPA proceeded voluntarily, without being compelled by the court, to make available to the plaintiffs all records that they asked to inspect and, in so doing, went beyond what was required of it by the applicable bylaws. And, the IHBPA has continued with the engagement of the independent financial review and, with input from the plaintiffs, arranged for the association’s bylaws to be amended to provide for the participation of a “neutral monitor” to oversee the upcoming
While the current agreement between the IHBPA and the Fairmount Park provides for payment from the track to be applied to the compensation of the Executive Director, the Executive Director has proposed that the IHBPA amend that arrangement and terminate the subsidy from Fairmount Park. But, just as the lawsuit was resolved without any determination that any officer or director of the IHBPA has done anything wrong, there also has been no finding that the terms of the current contract between Fairmount Park and the IHBPA are in any way improper or reflect a conflict of interest. Likewise, there has been no finding that there was any misuse or waste of impact fee funds (which, in any event, were paid to Fairmount Park, not to the IHBPA).
Hopefully, this summary has helped provide an understanding of what transpired in connection with the now-settled lawsuit.
Very truly yours,
Wayne D. Skigen
Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld & Dawson, LLP
H.B. 335 has been scheduled for a hearing in Senate Executive Committee next Wednesday the 11th, I will be there lobbying for its passage.
Today two co-sponsors were added to H.B. 335. With Senator Matt Murphy signing on, we now have bi-partisan support. Senator Steve Landek is also now a co-sponsor. Some good news for Fairmount horsemen is on the way.
Good News! As you know our A.D.W. bill passed with 81 votes recently and was sent to the senate. Today it was put into the Senate Executive Committee. We are well on the way to preserving one of our largest sources of purse income. I’ll keep the horsemen posted as we approach passage of H.B.335
On Friday April 22, 2016 Judge Harrison gave the final order which settled the law suit between the Illinois H.B.P.A. and 22 plaintiffs.
UPDATE!!!! H.B. 335 the ADW bill passed out of the House today with an impressive 83 yes votes. The bill is now on it’s way to the Senate. This is a great day for Fairmount horsemen.
H.B. 335 the ADW extension passed out of the House Executive Committee this morning. It now goes to the House floor for passage and then on to the Senate.
H.B.335 extends ADW until December 31, 2018. The Bill is in House Executive Committee tomorrow morning.