Gaming Control Board Responds To Treasurer Mccord
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today questioned the motivation of State Treasurer Rob McCord’s resistance to sign two documents signed by all other Board members prior to attending the PGCB Executive Sessions.
The response came after the Treasurer issued a press release today disclosing the details of a settlement agreement offered by the Board in its good-faith effort to end the long standing disagreement with the Treasurer over his role as a PGCB ex-officio member. In the release, McCord accuses the Board of trying to hide its business from him and the public.
“Every time the Treasurer accuses the Board of being secretive, the public should be asking some pointed questions of him in order to better discern his motivation in this matter,” Gaming Control Board Chairman Greg Fajt said on behalf of the entire Board. “All we have ever asked of the Treasurer is that he abide by the same rules that all the Board members abide by and then he is able to attend executive sessions.
Fajt says those questions should be:
- Why won’t the Treasurer execute both documents Board members sign assuring confidentiality and no conflict of interest?
- If being an active Board member is so important, why has the Treasurer failed to attend any of the 34 public meetings held by the Board since he became an ex-officio member?
- What is Mr. McCord hiding by refusing to sign the Code of Ethics and Confidentiality Agreements?
Fajt said the Board has been acting in good faith to negotiate a resolution to this matter and, in its recent proposed settlement agreement, agreed that the Treasurer and all ex-officio members are able to attend executive sessions and participate to the same extent as the appointed voting Board members. The Board has only required that those ex-officio members agree to the same conditions applicable to all members.
“Unfortunately, the Treasurer clearly has not been engaged in this process with equal good faith,” Fajt said.
Fajt added that it is disappointing that rather than attend the Board’s executive session yesterday and the Board’s public meeting today, the Treasurer pursued an avenue of publicity rather than resolution.
“We only wonder what his real political motivation is here, given that Treasurer McCord has previously stated that he wanted to get this resolved before Tom Corbett becomes Governor,” Fajt said. “Maybe the Board’s concern of the Treasurer’s political motivation is not unjustified.”
Fajt concluded that the assertion by McCord that legal costs borne by the Board in this matter are a waste of taxpayer dollars is simply wrong.
“If the Treasurer understood the Gaming Act, he would know that not one penny of taxpayer’s money has been spent by the Board in the matter,” said Fajt.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 40 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. To date, with ten casinos in operation, legalized gaming in the Commonwealth has created, or helped race track facilities retain, nearly 14,000 living wage jobs, provided property tax reduction in each of the past three years for all homeowners, produced revenue that has reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry, and provided a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that has funded scores of community projects. A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.pgcb.state.pa.us. At this web site, visitors can view videos of Board meetings and on the operation of the PGCB, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information.
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