09/08/2008 11:00PM

Fired NYRA clerks suing


Two former New York Racing Association employees have filed a lawsuit against the association, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, state prosecutors, and private investigators, seeking $100 million in damages stemming from allegations lodged by the state that they falsified riding weights.

Mario Sclafani, NYRA's former clerk of scales, and Braulio Baeza, the assistant clerk, allege in the lawsuit that they are due the damages because of harm suffered to their reputations arising out of the case, which was thrown out of court in 2007 by Saratoga County Judge Jerry Scarano.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, according to Sclafani's and Baeza's attorneys, Todd D. Greenberg and Paul DerOhannessian.

Sclafani and Baeza were indicted in late 2005 by Spitzer's office when he was attorney general of New York. In the indictment, the two were accused of allowing jockeys to ride when more than 15 pounds overweight. After the indictment was released, NYRA fired both of them. At the time, NYRA was operating under a deferred-prosecution agreement on charges related to fraud among mutuel-department employees.