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08/07/89 Roger W. Edwards, v. the Illinois Racing Board

August 7, 1989

ROGER W. EDWARDS, PETITIONER-APPELLANT

v.

THE ILLINOIS RACING BOARD, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION

543 N.E.2d 172, 187 Ill. App. 3d 287, 134 Ill. Dec. 889 1989.IL.1213

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Roger J. Kiley, Jr., Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivered the opinion of the court. MANNING, P.J., and CAMPBELL, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE O'CONNOR

This is an appeal by plaintiff, Roger W. Edwards, from the suspension of his occupational license by the Illinois Racing Board. We affirm.

Plaintiff has been licensed since 1981 by the Illinois Racing Board as a driver, trainer and owner of harness horses. On May 17, 1984, the stewards at Balmoral Park Race Track issued a ruling summarily excluding him from any race meeting held within the jurisdiction of the Illinois Racing Board (the Board) subject to a subsequent hearing by the stewards. This ruling was predicated upon results from six separate laboratory tests which indicated the presence of illegal drugs in four horses trained by Edwards.

After plaintiff was excluded, he was advised that a hearing would be held once the Board's lab completed testing on other urine samples from horses trained by plaintiff. Following the completion of the testing, plaintiff was advised that eight additional instances of illegal drugs had been found in horses he trained.

A hearing on the 14 laboratory reports was held on July 17, 1984. Edwards and his attorney were present at the hearing, but plaintiff offered no evidence in rebuttal. On July 18, 1984, the stewards issued a ruling finding that plaintiff had violated Illinois Racing Board Rules C9.6, C9.7 and C9.20 and suspending his license and track privileges for life.

On July 23, 1984, plaintiff timely filed an appeal of the stewards' ruling. Although plaintiff had a right to a hearing within seven days, he sought a continuance for the purpose of having independent tests performed on the blood and urine samples. In May, June and December of 1985, Edwards' counsel advised counsel for the Board that Edwards was considering withdrawing his request for a hearing. On March 13, 1986, the Board's counsel filed a motion to dismiss based on Edwards' failure to actively pursue his case. On April 8, 1986, plaintiff responded that he wished to proceed and a hearing was set for April 23, 1986.

The April 23 hearing was cancelled by the Board due to the resignation of the Board's attorney and reset by agreement of the parties for June 26, 1986. Pursuant to Illinois Racing Board Rule A4.11, a stipulation of facts was agreed to. At the hearing on June 26 a dispute arose over the Board's attempt to supplement the record with scientific data regarding the drugs found in the course of testing. The matter was taken under advisement by the hearing officer, who set a new hearing date of September 11, 1986. At the September 11 hearing, Edwards withdrew his agreement on the stipulation.

Between November 1986 and September 1987, the parties continued negotiations in an attempt to reach an agreement on the stipulation of facts. An agreement was reached and a hearing was held on September 2, 1987. The stipulation of facts was entered into evidence. In the stipulation, the parties agreed that the samples taken from the horses in question and the Board's laboratory tests were accurate and that the urine samples of the horses contained one of three drugs, either Sulindac, Isopyrin or Etorphine. Edwards failed to provide any evidence that he had guarded the horses in question as required by Board Rule C9.20.

On October 27, 1987, the Board entered an order finding that plaintiff had violated Rule C9.20 on 14 occasions and suspending his license for nine months for each of the 14 violations, to run consecutively with credit for time served. The Board set February 21, 1995, as the termination date for plaintiff's suspension.

On December 1, 1987, plaintiff filed a complaint for administrative review in the circuit court of Cook County. On June 22, 1988, a hearing was held and the trial court entered an order affirming the ...


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