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EARL T. LANCHESTER v. PENNSYLVANIA STATE HORSE RACING COMMISSION (09/26/74)

decided: September 26, 1974.

EARL T. LANCHESTER, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE HORSE RACING COMMISSION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission in case of Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission v. Earl T. Lanchester, No. 73-037.

COUNSEL

Edward S. Finkelstein, for appellant.

James F. Cendoma, General Counsel, with him Robert J. Dixon, Deputy Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman, and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Concurring Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Crumlish

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 87]

The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission (Commission), after finding that Earl T. Lanchester (Appellant) had violated Commission Rule 15.09*fn1 by

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 88]

    having in his possession while on racing grounds hypodermic needles, drugs and other paraphernalia which could affect the performance of a race horse, suspended his trainer's license for twelve months.

The facts found by the Commission are not seriously disputed by Appellant, and therefore are binding upon this Court as supported by substantial evidence. Johnson v. State Horse Racing Commission, 5 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 458, 290 A.2d 277 (1972). However, a brief review is in order. At approximately 5:30 p.m. on October 2, 1973, three officials of the Commission searched, with Appellant's permission, the stable, tack and feed rooms occupied by Appellant at Penn National Turf Club in Grantville, Pennsylvania. Finding nothing, the officials asked permission to search Appellant's truck which was located on the racing grounds while a meet was in progress. Appellant declined unless a warrant was produced, whereupon the officials forced entry into the truck without a warrant, in reliance upon the consent to search which was executed by Appellant when he applied for a trainer's license as authorized by Rule 15.09. Concealed under a seat were various drugs and devices which could be applied to a race horse for nefarious purposes.

At the conclusion of a full hearing, the Board of Stewards issued a ruling suspending Appellant's license for a period of six months, commencing October 23, 1973. Appellant was further denied access to or the use of privileges at any race track within the Stewards' jurisdiction, and they ordered the removal and suspension

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 89]

    of all horses trained or owned by Appellant unless they were sold or transferred after approval by the Stewards. On October 26, 1973, Appellant appealed this determination to the Commission. A de novo hearing was conducted by the Commission, Chairman Joseph L. Lecce presiding, on November 14, 1973; and on November 19, 1973, this Court entered an order enjoining the Commission from enforcing the six month suspension pending the disposition of the appeal. On December 11, 1973, the Commission issued an adjudication and order signed by Chairman Lecce and Commissioner A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr., suspending Appellant's license for one year after finding a violation of Rule 15.09, and otherwise affirmed the Board of Stewards' ruling. This appeal followed.

Appellant in urging us to support his position contends initially that the full Commission did not consider his case, since only one Commissioner heard the testimony, and the final adjudication ...


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