10/17/2005 12:00AM

Illinois group in vote dispute

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A general membership meeting of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association on Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course saw a sizeable faction demanding an election of officers before the end of 2005.

A rule adopted by the horsemen's association earlier this year changed the group's election cycle from two to three years, bumping elections from 2005 to 2006. The group once had three-year terms, and, according to current leadership, an outside auditor proposed reverting to three-year terms as a cost-cutting measure. The change was approved unanimously at a February meeting of the group's board.

An opposing faction, led by a former executive director of the association, Jim Carfagno, and trainer Janice Ely, claims the election changes require general membership approval.

The president of the horsemen's association, Joe Kasperski, was presented with a petition that backers said included the names of some 78 members, more than enough, according to the petitioners, to require an immediate special election for president as stipulated in association by-laws.

By meeting's end, however, more than one member proposed elections in December or January, after which elected officials could serve the new three-year terms.

A board meeting to address the issue will be held sometime in the coming weeks, Kasperski said Saturday.