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What you need to know for 01/20/2017

Former NYRA executives settle claims for severance pay

Former NYRA executives settle claims for severance pay

Former New York Racing Association President Charlie Hayward and General Counsel Patrick Kehoe have

Former New York Racing Association President Charlie Hayward and General Counsel Patrick Kehoe have resolved their claims for severance pay, according to a member of the board of directors.

The resolution of the claims for severance pay from Hayward and Kehoe, who also served as NYRA’s senior vice president, was mentioned during the board’s meeting in New York City on Wednesday morning. The two fired executives had been seeking a total payout of $873,000 following their termination in 2012.

“The litigation with prior NYRA officers — Hayward and Kehoe — has been settled,” Stuart Subotnick, head of the association’s finance committee, said during his report.

But NYRA declined to say what each of the former executives received from the settlement. Spokesman Eric Wing said NYRA has no comment beyond what was said at the meeting.

Board Chairman David Skorton couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday and several members contacted about the settlement did not return calls. Likewise, Kehoe, who now works at the Albany-based law firm of Allen & Desnoyers, did not respond to requests for comment. Hayward, who still maintains a home near Saratoga Race Course in the Spa City, could not be reached for comment.

Hayward and Kehoe were fired in May 2012 amid a state investigation into allegations they did nothing to stop an error that cost bettors millions of dollars. The state Racing and Wagering Board reported that $8.5 million due to bettors was withheld by various vendors because NYRA was using an incorrect takeout percentage on its races for roughly 15 months.

When the mistake was revealed in December 2011, Hayward maintained it was an inadvertent error NYRA knew nothing about. The interim report, however, cites emails indicating Hayward realized the error and did nothing to rectify the problem.

An investigation into NYRA by the state Inspector General is ongoing. A spokesman with the agency declined to comment. Hayward was paid $475,000 a year as NYRA’s president and chief executive officer. Kehoe was paid $423,000.

In January 2013, Hayward demanded $460,000 in a severance payout. Kehoe followed suit, requesting $413,000.

“I had an employment agreement with NYRA and met all of my obligations,” Hayward said during NYRA’s board meeting last year. “I expect NYRA to do the same.”

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