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ANTHONY J. RUSSO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/11/81)

decided: September 11, 1981.

ANTHONY J. RUSSO, JR., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE HORSE RACING COMMISSION AND PENN NATIONAL RACING ASSOCIATION, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the State Horse Racing Commission in case of In Re: Anthony J. Russo, Jr., No. 80-049.

COUNSEL

Richard J. Makoul, for petitioner.

Bart J. DeLuca, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, with him Allen C. Warshaw, Deputy Attorney General, and Harvey Bartle, III, Attorney General, for respondent, State Horse Racing Commission.

Norman I. White, with him Terry R. Bossert, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for respondent, Penn National Racing Association.

Judges Mencer, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 577]

Anthony J. Russo, Jr. (Russo) appeals here from an order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission (Commission), dated August 11, 1980, that affirmed his ejectment from the Penn National Race Track (Race Track) by the Penn National Racing Association (Penn National). We affirm.

The instant case had its genesis in events that transpired on the evening of February 1, 1980, when Russo, a licensed jockey in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, caused a number of disturbances on the grounds of the Race Track. As a result of these disturbances, the Lakelands Racing Association (Lakelands) pursuant to Section 12.1 of the Act of December

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 57811]

, 1967, P.L. 707, added by Act of July 24, 1970, P.L. 634, as amended, 15 P.S. ยง 2662.1 (Act), ejected Russo from the Race Track. Russo appealed to the Commission. The first two of three hearings were held on February 11 and February 25, 1980. On February 27, 1980, Russo received a notice of ejectment from Mountainview Racing Association (Mountainview) based on the incident of February 1, 1980. Russo appealed. The third hearing, held February 28, 1980, consolidated the two appeals. In an adjudication dated March 20, 1980, the Commission held that both Lakelands and Mountainview had sufficient grounds for ejecting Russo from their respective meets. Russo requested reconsideration of two findings of fact. On June 13, 1980, Russo was served a notice of ejectment from Penn National based on the events of February 1, 1980. Russo appealed. A hearing was held on July 9, 1980, at which time both the reconsideration and appeal from the ejectment were considered. The records, of the previous proceedings relating to the incident of February 1, 1980, and the prior adjudication were entered into the record of the July hearing. In its adjudication, dated August 11, 1980, the Commission dismissed the reconsideration and upheld the ejectment of Russo by Penn National. It is the August 11, 1980, adjudication that is the basis for Russo's appeal to this Court.

The law is clear. This Court must affirm an adjudication of the Commission unless constitutional rights were violated, the adjudication was not in accordance with the law, procedural rules were violated or a necessary finding of fact was not supported by substantial evidence. Daly v. Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, 38 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 77, 391 A.2d 1134 (1978). Substantial evidence is such evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Id.

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 579]

Section 12.1 of the Act reads in pertinent ...


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