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MICHAEL IWINSKI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/11/84)

decided: September 11, 1984.

MICHAEL IWINSKI, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA STATE HORSE RACING COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission in the case of In Re: Michael Iwinski, Docket No. 83-009K.

COUNSEL

William F. Fox, Jr., Fox, Differ, Callahan, Ulrich & O'Hara, for petitioner.

Gerald T. Osburn, Assistant Chief Counsel, with him, John B. Hannum, Jr., for respondent.

Samuel E. Dennis, with him, Stewart L. Cohen, Meltzer & Schiffrin, for intervenor, Eagle Downs Racing Association.

Judges Williams, Jr., Barry and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 85 Pa. Commw. Page 177]

Michael Iwinski, an assistant horse trainer, has appealed from an order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission (Commission) affirming his exclusion, by Eagle Downs Racing Association (Eagle Downs), from the stable area at Keystone Race Track.

On January 19, 1983, the Commission granted Mr. Iwinski a license to work at race tracks in Pennsylvania. The agency described the license as being "temporary in nature."*fn1 Soon after receiving his license, Iwinski applied to the officials at Keystone Race Track for permission to work there. By a written notice dated January 26, 1983, Eagle Downs, co-owner of Keystone, advised him that he was denied admission to the stable area at the track.*fn2 One of the reasons for the decision, according to the notice, was the fact that in 1980 Iwinski had been put on criminal probation in the State of Michigan for the offense of marijuana delivery. Another reason stated in the notice was that, when Iwinski applied for permission to work at Keystone, he admitted to the track's security officer that he had actually sold marijuana in connection with the 1980 drug offense.

[ 85 Pa. Commw. Page 178]

As was further set forth in the notice from Eagle Downs, Keystone Race Track had a policy which, in part here pertinent, provided as follows: if a person has been convicted of selling or distributing a controlled dangerous substance, including marijuana, or has admitted such conduct, he will not be allowed to work at Keystone for a period of seven years after the conviction or admission.

Eagle Downs' action was appealed by Iwinski to the Commission. When the Commission affirmed following a hearing, he took a further appeal to this Court.

The appellant points to the undisputed fact that, when he was granted his license on January 19, 1983, the Commission had before it and had taken into account a statement of his criminal history -- including the 1980 conviction in Michigan for marijuana delivery.*fn3 Asserting that his exclusion by Eagle Downs was for conduct which the Commission itself had considered in adjudging him fit for a license, the appellant argues that the Commission's later order affirming the action of Eagle Downs violated the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel. We must note, perhaps appropriately at this point, that in the adjudication by which the Commission granted Iwinski a license, the agency found that he had "never been charged with a sale of marijuana, only with possession and delivery." (Emphasis added.)

The licensing of persons to participate in horse race meetings is governed by Section 213 of the Race Horse Industry Reform Act (Act).*fn4 Section 213(c) of the Act*fn5 ...


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