11/06/2007 12:00AM

Fermin resigns from California board

EmailIngrid Fermin, the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board, has resigned effective Jan. 7, citing her unwillingness to relocate from Southern California to Sacramento, Calif., Fermin and the CHRB said on Tuesday.

Fermin, a steward in California for 24 years prior to being hired in 2005, will leave her position on the three-year anniversary of her initial acceptance of the job. During a recent performance evaluation, the CHRB's board of commissioners told Fermin that in order to continue as executive director, she would need to relocate from Del Mar, where she works out of a CHRB satellite office, to the board's main office in Sacramento, the state capital.

"When I was hired initially, I was very specific about not being willing to move to Northern California, and that was fine at the time," Fermin, 66, said on Tuesday. "That's not the case anymore, and I'm at the stage of my life where I'd rather not move."

Richard Shapiro, the chairman of the CHRB, said in a statement that the board will appoint a selection committee to interview candidates for the executive director position. He praised Fermin for her work while at the CHRB.

"I both regret and understand her decision not to relocate to Sacramento," Shapiro said. "I hope she will stay involved in horse racing in California."

Fermin said that she was proud of her work at the CHRB, and said that the board had made progress in tightening its drug-testing standards and reforming the methods by which positive drug tests are adjudicated. She also said that the executive director's job frequently required her to work seven days a week.

Fermin said she does not know if she will seek additional employment in the racing industry.

"I am looking at this as a resignation, not a retirement," she said. "But when you are working full time for as long as I have, you miss out on a lot of things."