06/22/2004 12:00AM

Kentucky criticizes old panel


A state review of the Kentucky Racing Commission has found "no evidence" of criminal activity but criticized the former regulatory body for having "lax management and a disregard for standard business practices," according to Crit Luallen, Kentucky's auditor of public accounts.

The report, requested by Gov. Ernest Fletcher shortly after he took office last year and disbanded the commission, made several recommendations for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, the new regulatory body. Among the requests is for the duties of the executive director and the chief state steward to be separate, along with a call for the authority to monitor closely the travel and attendance of its employees.

"The state agency representing Kentucky's signature industry should have been one of the most professional and best-managed in state government," Luallen said at a press conference Tuesday. "Unfortunately, it was not."

The racing authority is currently searching for both an executive director and chief state steward.