from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas No. 16CV-9590)
& McGovern, LPA, and John A. Izzo, for appellant.
Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Charles E. Febus, for
Charles E. Febus.
1} Appellant, Ned Hodkinson, appeals from a judgment
of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas dismissing his
administrative appeal from an October 6, 2016 letter
indicating that appellee, the Ohio State Racing Commission
("commission"), would not review his challenge to
the racetrack judges' inaction against another harness
racing driver for alleged interference during a particular
horserace. For the following reasons, we affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
2} On July 29, 2016, Hodkinson was the trainer and
harness racing driver of a horse, Grubich Girl, which
finished eighth (last) in the seventh race at Scioto Downs
racetrack. Hodkinson alleges that the driver of another horse
improperly interfered with him and Grubich Girl causing him
to slow the horse down and lose ground on the rest of the
field. The racetrack judges took no action against any
licensee involved with the seventh race, and Hodkinson did
not immediately object to the judges regarding any alleged
misconduct at the racetrack. A few days after the race,
Hodkinson submitted an "appeal form" with the
commission. (Aug. 2, 2016 Commission Appeal Form.) That form
indicated Hodkinson was appealing from a "decision"
of the presiding judge at Scioto Downs regarding the seventh
race on July 29, 2016. Hodkinson identified the
"decision" being appealed as: "No call for
interference on 2 separate occasions in race." On the
form, Hodkinson indicated his disagreement "with the
Official's Ruling" and his desire to have the matter
heard before a commission hearing officer. The next day,
August 3, 2016, the commission sent a letter to Hodkinson
indicating its receipt of his appeal and the scheduling of a
hearing regarding the matter before a hearing officer.
3} On August 8, 2016, counsel for Hodkinson
requested a continuance of the hearing, which the hearing
officer granted. The commission subsequently requested that
the hearing officer dismiss Hodkinson's appeal due to the
absence of a reviewable issue. In opposition, Hodkinson
argued that the commission had jurisdiction over his appeal,
and he requested an additional continuance until a decision
was reached on the motion to dismiss.
4} On October 6, 2016, the hearing officer denied
Hodkinson's second request for a continuance, indicating
that she would make a recommendation regarding the motion to
dismiss following the hearing scheduled for late October
2016. On the same day, the director of licensing for the
commission sent a letter to Hodkinson informing him that the
scheduled hearing was cancelled and would not be rescheduled.
The letter states, "Pursuant to Chapter 119 of the Ohio
Revised Code and R.C. 3769 and the applicable rules of
racing, the Commission does not have the legal authority to
entertain your 'appeal.' In this instance, there was
no ruling taken against ...