12/13/2002 12:00AM

Michigan gets new racing chief

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Michigan Gov. John Engler on Friday appointed R. Robert Geake to replace Annete Bacola as state racing commissioner. Bacola, who was appointed Michigan racing commissioner in July 1999, resigned citing personal reasons and "a desire to pursue a change in direction," according to Dominic Perrone, information manager for the commission. Geake will assume his new position Dec. 21, and his term will run through 2004.

Geake, of Northville, Mich., has no official background in horse racing. He is a former state senator and state representative and has served as a consulting psychologist in private practice.

Unlike almost all other states, Michigan does not have a commission chairman and a board, but instead has a lone commissioner. In his position as commissioner, Geake will have final say in all matters coming before the commission.