PA Gaming Control Board’s First Executive Director Steps Down
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today accepted the resignation of the agency’s first Executive Director, Anne LaCour Neeb. Neeb’s resignation is effective on June 6, 2008.
On an interim basis, the PGCB announced that Frank T. Donaghue, currently the Board’s Chief Counsel, will serve as Acting Executive Director while it conducts a nation-wide search for a new Executive Director.
Neeb became the first Executive Director of the PGCB on September 6, 2005 and says the decision to leave this position was difficult, but needed to be made for personal reasons.
“Notwithstanding the major accomplishments that have been made in setting up a new industry in Pennsylvania, there is still much more to be done and I was fully prepared to continue to serve as Executive Director,” Neeb said. “However, the position has necessitated that I be away from my family in Louisiana for a considerable amount of time and they must now be my priority.”
Under Neeb’s leadership, the PGCB grew from an organization that counted three employees in December 2004 to an agency with a staff of over 250 throughout the Commonwealth with offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Scranton and at the seven casinos currently operating.
Neeb says she has been very fortunate to have this opportunity to serve as Executive Director with a great number of talented and dedicated persons.
“During my tenure as Executive Director, I have valued the support of the Board members and our talented employees,” Neeb said. “Their hard work, and above all their dedication, is the primary reason why citizens of the Commonwealth are already seeing the financial benefits of legalized gaming.”
PGCB Chairman Mary DiGiacomo Colins agreed that during Neeb’s tenure, the accomplishments were monumental and include:
• Awarding 11 casino licenses that included a process of 26 hearings held throughout the state to hear from the public and government leaders and 19 applicant licensing hearings;
• The opening of six casinos at horse racing tracks and one stand alone casino that are now generating an average of over $2.7 million a day in tax revenue;
• The generation of new revenues to the Commonwealth thus far totaling $1.4 billion;
• The creation of nearly 7,000 living wage jobs;
• $173 million of revenues that has revived Pennsylvania’s horse-racing industry;
• The creation of Pennsylvania’s first new agency in nearly 35 years, including new and specific regulations necessary to properly oversee the new gaming industry;
• Properly carrying out the strong oversight powers outlined in the Gaming Act which included the suspension of the license of a casino operator within hours of a grand jury indictment.
“We were fortunate to have a person with the background, integrity and quality of Anne Neeb to oversee this agency’s historic work in launching legalized slots gaming and to do so under the strict context of the Gaming Act,” Chairman Colins said. “While Anne will be missed, she assembled a highly capable staff that will continue to provide effective oversight of this new, highly regulated industry.”
Donaghue was appointed as the agency’s first Chief Counsel on Feb. 2, 2006. Before joining the PGCB, he served the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General as Chief Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as Deputy Attorney General and Legislative Liaison in the Office of Attorney General. He also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Ronald D. Castille, Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Donaghue earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and his law degree from the Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg.
In other personnel matters announced today, the Board appointed R. Douglas Sherman as Acting Chief Counsel, Paul Resch at Acting Director of Gaming Operations, and placed administrative functions under Chief Financial Officer Eileen McNulty.
Sherman has served as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s Deputy Chief Counsel for Litigation since April 2006. In that role, he oversees litigation involving the PGCB, including appeals of the Board’s licensing decisions, provides counsel for the Board and Chief Counsel on various issues arising within the Board’s jurisdiction, and participates in the drafting and development of Board regulations, policies and procedures. In addition, he helped establish the Board’s hearing procedures for the issuance of slot machine licenses in Pennsylvania as well as for post-licensing proceedings. Sherman, a 1987 graduate of the Dickinson School of Law, previously held various positions with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Civil Litigation Section over a nearly twenty-year period, last serving as a Senior Deputy Attorney General.
Resch assumes the position of Director of Operations, left vacant by the recent resignation of Kevin Hayes. He joined the PGCB in March 2006 and has served as Board Secretary, Legislative Liaison and Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. Before joining the agency, he was a leadership executive director and a communications specialist in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. His public service career also includes serving on Columbia Borough Council in Lancaster County from 2002-2005, including two years as President. Resch is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.
The Board consolidated functions such as Administration, Human Resources and Procurement under the expanded role of the CFO in order to streamline operations and create a more efficient internal process. McNulty, who was appointed as the Gaming Control Board’s first Chief Financial Officer in November 2006 served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue from 1991 to 1995, and as Executive Deputy Secretary of Revenue from 2003 to 2006 with a special emphasis on gaming. A graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in Economics, McNulty has also worked as public policy consultant, conducting extensive research on a variety of tax and economic issues while writing in a number of professional publications and journals.