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DONALD PANKEWICZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/20/89)

decided: April 20, 1989.

DONALD PANKEWICZ, PETITIONER,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA STATE HORSE RACING COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



PETITION FOR REVIEW, (PENNSYLVANIA STATE HORSE RACING COMM.).

COUNSEL

Richard G. Phillips, Daniel D. Radich, Richard G. Phillips Associates, Philadelphia, for petitioner.

John Hannum, Jr., Chief Counsel, Randall N. Sears, Asst. Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.

Barry and Colins, JJ., and Kalish, Senior Judge.

Author: Barry

[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 602]

OPINION

Petitioner, Donald Pankewicz, is an owner and trainer of race horses. Respondent, the Pennsylvania State Horse

[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 603]

Racing Commission,*fn1 revoked petitioner's license to train horses based on several alleged violations of Commission regulations. Hearings were held before the Commission in the nature of an appeal from the revocation. After the hearings, the Commission issued an order suspending petitioner's license for a period of three years. The suspension was based on evidence that he had injected a horse with a substance within 24 hours before a race and on the discovery of two pieces of a broken syringe in petitioner's tack room. These actions are prohibited by the Commission's regulations at 58 Pa.Code ยง 163.302(a)(2) and (3).*fn2 The suspension was appealed to this Court.

Our scope of review for adjudications of the State Horse Racing Commission is limited to determining whether or not constitutional rights were violated, the adjudication was in accord with the law, procedural rules were violated or whether or not necessary findings of fact were supported by substantial evidence. Peterson v. Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, 68 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 353, 449 A.2d 774 (1982).

Petitioner first argues that respondent failed to produce substantial evidence that petitioner injected the horse

[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 604]

Salty Bird before a race. The Commission's finding that he did so is based on the testimony of a Commission investigator who testified that he witnessed petitioner making an injection. Petitioner's argument is based on the fact that a syringe was not found when petitioner was searched immediately after the injection of Salty Bird, nor was one found in the barn where the ...


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