Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission in case of Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission v. Carl Striker, No. 76-064.
Clyde P. Bailey, with him Bailey and Bailey, for appellant.
Larrick B. Stapleton, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 374]
Carl Striker (Striker) appeals to this Court from an order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission (Commission) dated December 27, 1976. The order suspended Striker's license to race horses in Pennsylvania for a period of 5 years for violating Rules 1.11, 1.12, 25.01, and A-16 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Racing.*fn1
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 375]
Our scope of review is governed by provisions of the Administrative Agency Law, Act of June 4, 1945, P.L. 1388, § 44, as amended, 71 P.S. § 1710.44. Smith v. Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, 18 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 1, 333 A.2d 798 (1975). Section 44 of the Administrative Agency Law describes our review as follows:
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 376]
After hearing, the court shall affirm the adjudication unless it shall find that the same is in violation of the constitutional rights of the appellant, or is not in accordance with law, or that the provisions of sections thirty-one to thirty-five inclusive of this act [71 P.S. §§ 1710.31-.35] have been violated in the proceeding before the agency, or that any finding of fact made by the agency and necessary to support its adjudication is not supported by substantial evidence.
On July 19, 1976, Striker was asked to appear before the Board of Stewards of Commodore Downs. He was questioned as to whether he knew certain persons whom the Commission subsequently determined to be men of poor reputation. Striker denied any relationship with the men, and no evidence to the contrary is of record. Further, Striker was questioned concerning a conversation he had had with Michael Hodges, another jockey at Commodore Downs. Hodges had signed a written statement, which he subsequently disavowed, that in part read:
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 377]
Striker offered me money if I would pull a horse during the running of a race. I replied, No. No specific ...