09/29/2003 12:00AM

NYRA gets new executive


The New York Racing Association, which has been criticized for providing improper financial oversight, has taken steps to fill the vacant position of chief financial officer.

Although NYRA had not made an official announcement as of noon Monday, the new chief financial officer is William J. Byrne. Byrne, 55, applied to the state racing and wagering board on Sept. 17 to be licensed as a NYRA employee, according to Stacy Clifford, a spokeswoman for the board. He has been granted a temporary license while the board completes a background check. He replaces Alec Ingle, who left NYRA in August 2002.

NYRA's financial management, particularly its cash policies in the mutuel room, has been under scrutiny since the summer after critical reports by the New York attorney general and the state comptroller. Last Wednesday, NYRA board members discussed a reorganization plan that would include limiting the responsibilities of Terry Meyocks, the association's president and chief operating officer, several board members said.

NYRA is seeking to avoid criminal charges by federal prosecutors related to the convictions of 19 former mutuel tellers on charges of income tax evasion and money laundering.