06/20/2012 10:01AM

Kentucky judge rules Veitch can apply for license


LEXINGTON, Ky. – A Franklin Circuit Court judge Wednesday ruled that the state’s former chief state steward should be allowed to apply for a license if he presents evidence to the state racing commission that a racetrack intends to hire him, according to an attorney representing the former steward, John Veitch.

Veitch had filed a motion seeking a ruling that would compel the commission to issue him a license after the commission returned a license application he submitted in mid-May. Veitch, who was fired as chief state steward last year, had claimed that the commission’s failure to act on the application violated state rules requiring the commission to notify applicants about whether an application had been approved or denied.

Although Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the commission could not be compelled to issue the license, he said that the commission must consider Veitch’s license application if he obtains a letter from a Kentucky racetrack indicating that the track intends to hire him in a position as a racing official, according to Veitch’s attorney, Tom Miller.

“We will supply the letter,” Miller said.

Earlier in the day, just after the hearing, a spokesman for the commission said that Wingate had denied the motion without elaborating on the side agreement.

Veitch had claimed in his initial motion that commission officials had told him that they could not issue a license to someone who was not employed. In a response to that motion, the commission’s attorney, Luke Morgan, wrote that Veitch had not provided any documentation to support his claim that Ellis Park intended to hire him if he had a license. The response noted that the commission had approved a roster of racing officials for Ellis Park one week prior to Veitch’s licensing application being filed and that the roster did not include Veitch’s name.

Following his dismissal last year, Veitch was suspended for one year by the commission under charges that he violated racing rules in the Life At Ten incident at the 2010 Breeders’ Cup. Veitch received a stay of the ruling in April from the same judge who ruled Wednesday.