09/05/2007 11:00PM

Jockey Guild's Manley resigns


Dwight Manley, the coin dealer and former sports agent who was hired as the national manager of the Jockeys' Guild last summer, has resigned from the position, Manley said on Wednesday.

Manley cited personal responsibilities for the decision, and said that he told the guild's board in mid-July that he intended to resign by Oct. 1 in order to allow the organization to search for a new national manager.

Representatives of the guild did not return phone calls on Wednesday, but several officials close to the guild said that the organization was expected to announce the hiring of an interim or permanent national manager on Thursday. Manley said that he was told last week that the board "had identified someone they wanted to pursue."

Manley was hired as the guild's national manager in July 2006. The guild had not had a permanent national manager since November 2005, when the board fired its chief executive, L. Wayne Gertmenian, amid criticism that Gertmenian had mismanaged guild funds and damaged the organization's relationships with racetracks and other industry groups over his four-year tenure.

According to his employment contract with the guild, Manley did not receive a salary but would have earned 20 percent of any "new" revenue that he brought into the guild. Manley also loaned the guild $500,000 at no interest for a year.

Manley said that the guild had made two months of repayments on the loan, at an interest rate equal to the prime rate. The loan will be repaid over a period of five years, he said.

Manley said that when he arrived at the guild last year the organization was "on the brink of bankruptcy." He said the difference between the guild's current financial status and its situation one year ago "was night and day."

During the past year, the guild settled a lawsuit with the paralyzed jockey Gary Birzer, who alleged that the guild did not notify riders that it had failed to renew an insurance policy covering jockeys for catastrophic injuries. Earlier this year, the guild also settled a lawsuit with Churchill Downs that alleged the organization violated anti-trust laws by organizing two walkout at Churchill-owned tracks in 2004. As a result of the settlement, Churchill resumed making payments to the guild after a two-year hiatus.