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NYRA fires CEO and counsel amid probe

ALBANY -- The New York Racing Association says it has fired chief executive Charles Hayward and its chief counsel as the state investigates why $8.5 million in winnings wasn't paid to bettors.

The NYRA board of directors reported the firing of Hayward and senior vice president and general counsel Patrick Kehoe Friday afternoon. Hayward was paid $475,000 annually and Kehoe $423,000.

The board says they didn't "perform their duties at a level required by the board."

A state report said NYRA knew it shortchanged bettors by extracting inaccurate "takeout rates" from winnings and still did nothing about it, a claim NYRA disputes.

Hayward had said the lapse was an inadvertent error.

NYRA has the state franchise to operate thoroughbred racing at the Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga tracks. -- AP

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