12/16/2004 12:00AM

Ohio commission chair resigns

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Scott Borgemenke, the chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission, has resigned to take a position as the chief of staff in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Borgemenke, who became commission chairman this spring, campaigned unsuccessfully for a major reduction in racing dates in the state for 2005. He presided over his final commission meeting on Thursday and will begin his new position on Jan. 5. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft is responsible for appointing Borgemenke's replacement.

In an unrelated move, Allen Fairbanks, the state steward at Thistledown, will resign at the end of the current meeting at the Cleveland-area track on Dec. 31. Fairbanks and the track's two association stewards were each fined $2,000 and suspended for three days earlier this month by the state racing commission. The penalties came as a result of a disqualification at Thistedown on Nov. 20, which all three later agreed was made in error. The decision was reversed. Fairbanks, 72, has been quoted as saying he had been considering retirement for some time.

Sam Zonak, executive director of the racing commission, said he will begin a search for Fairbanks's replacement immediately.