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Baker v. Illinois Racing Bd.

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 22, 1981.

JIM BAKER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ILLINOIS RACING BOARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. THOMAS P. O'DONNELL, Judge, presiding. MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE KASSERMAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Illinois Racing Board, appeals from an order of the circuit court of St. Clair County reversing the Illinois Racing Board's imposition of a suspension on plaintiff, Jim Baker.

The Illinois Racing Board and stewards are charged by law with regulating horse racing in Illinois pursuant to the Horse Racing Act of 1975 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 8, par. 37-1 et seq.). The Illinois Racing Board is a department of the State, and its members are executive officers appointed by the Governor. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 8, par. 37-4.) Racing stewards are representatives of the Board at race meets licensed by the Board, and they supervise horse racing meets as provided by the rules and regulations of the Board. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 8, par. 37-3.19.) The stewards are empowered to investigate violations of Board rules and to revoke or suspend occupational licenses upon a finding that the rules have been violated. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 8, par. 37-16.) The stewards' findings may be appealed to the Racing Board for a de novo hearing, and the Board's decision may be appealed to the circuit court for administrative review. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 8, pars. 37-16(c) and 37-46.

Plaintiff, Jim Baker, was licensed as a vendor by the Illinois Racing Board. He operated a tack shop, designated as Baker's Turf Supply, at the Cahokia Downs and Fairmont Park race tracks. On March 15, 1978, plaintiff received a notice from the State stewards that he was charged with violating Harness Rules 21.5(b) and 21.6. The notice of hearing stated:

"March 15, 1978

TO: Mr. Jim Baker

You are hereby advised of a scheduled Stewards' hearing regarding your alleged violation of Illinois Racing Board rules —

No. 21.5(a)

No person, except a veterinarian licensed by the Board, shall have in his possession within any race track enclosure any hypodermic syringe or needle or any other instrument capable of being used for the injection into a horse of any chemical substance.

No. 21.5(b)

No person, except a veterinarian licensed by the Board, shall have in his possession within any race track enclosure any substance prepared for the purpose of being injected into a living being.

No. 21.6

No person, except a veterinarian licensed by the Board, shall have in his possession within a race track enclosure any chemical substance which is prohibited from being dispensed by any Federal or Illinois law without a prescription, unless he is in possession of documentary evidence that a valid prescription has been issued to him for such chemical substance. For purposes of this rule, a prescription shall not be valid unless it contains a specific dosage for the particular horse or horses to be treated by the chemical substance which is the subject of the prescription.

No. 2.07(g)

Reasons for Denial of ...


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