07/11/2012 4:26PM

Harness: Walter Case Jr. may be denied Massachusetts driving license

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Walter Case Jr. has over 11,000 career driving wins.

The door may be all but shut on the career of the talented, yet troubled harness driving icon Walter Case Jr. On Tuesday, July 10 Gayle Cameron of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission recommended to her fellow commissioners that Case be denied a license to compete at Plainridge Racecourse.

According to Case’s lawyer, Jeffrey R. Pocaro, the decision was based on the grounds of “protecting the integrity of racing” and that Case “lacked sufficient moral character.”

Case, who has amassed 11,038 career wins, now has 30 days to file a written appeal before the five-member board officially votes on whether he will be permitted to race in the state.

“I only spoke to his wife (Luanne) and she was very upset,” said Pocaro, who admitted a decision has yet to be made on whether Case would appeal.

The prospect of racing at Plainridge was considered Case’s best opportunity of returning to the sulky, following a jail sentence and probation period brought on by a domestic violence dispute with his ex-wife back in 2004. According to Pocaro, the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania have verbally told Case that they will deny his license and New York and New Jersey were unwilling to be the first states to test the waters on Case, who has a history of on-track violations and substance abuse.

On top of the current roster of states which have turned their backs on Case, if the MGC officially votes to deny Case a license it would severely hamper his chances of ever driving again.

“A denial would count against him in every state,” said Pocaro. “I doubt Florida would license him. His only chance may be in California. They licensed Richard Wojcio, who had a race-fixing conviction in New Jersey.”

The bottom line is that even if Case appeals it would be unlikely that the MGC would vote against Commissioner Cameron’s recommendation. Plus, since Cameron has one of the five deciding votes, Pocaro would need to convince at least three of her colleagues.

“My best shot was to convince (Commissioner Cameron) and hope that her recommendation would be accepted,” said Pocaro. “With the appeal, I have to convince four other people she was wrong.”