08/19/2009 12:00AM

Shapiro pleads no contest to keying car

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DEL MAR, Calif.- Richard Shapiro, the former chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, pleaded no contest earlier this week to misdemeanor charges of vandalizing horse owner Jerry Jamgotchian's car with a key at Hollywood Park in April.

At a hearing on Tuesday, Shapiro, 56, was sentenced to three years of informal probation and must pay $6,800 in damages to Jamgotchian, a horse owner and an outspoken critic of Shapiro and the racing board in recent years.

The incident occurred on the same day as a racing board hearing at Hollywood Park. Shapiro was not at the meeting as chairman, having resigned from the racing board last December.

Shapiro, who was racing board chairman for four years, was charged with felony vandalism in July, but reached an agreement on a lesser charge with the district attorney's office.

Shapiro joined the racing board in 2004 and left last fall after learning he had lost significant money in the Bernard Madoff investment scandal.