The state agency that monitors compliance with the public records law has determined that the New York Racing Association Reorganization Board has violated provisions of the law.
I had requested copies of NYRA’s contract with CEO Chris Kay and the performance goals established for him by Board Chairman David Skorton. NYRA refused to provide the documents, raising several arguments including that Kay had a right to privacy. The Committee on Open Government rejected all of NYRA’s assertions, concluding NYRA should provide the documents to me “without further delay.”
When NYRA decided to hire a new CEO a year ago, it established the salary for the position at $300,000 with an additional $250,000 to be paid based on satisfying performance goals. Chairman Skorton referred to these goals as a “balanced score card” and boasted that he was a “hard grader.” He also said that he wanted to be “very public about this.”
His desire to be public apparently did not extend to letting New York’s citizenry know what a state agency expects from a guy bringing in $5,769.23 per week – before the bonus, that is. In overturning NYRA’s refusal to make the documents public, the Committee on Open Government concluded “that a contract between an agency and an individual … must be disclosed, for it is clearly relevant to the duties, terms and conditions reflective of the responsibilities of the parties.”