Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Correra Out of Raton Racetrack

Marc Correra, the Santa Fe investment broker at the center of a recent state investment controversy has withdrawn as a partner in the planned racetrack in Raton.

This just in from the Associated Press:

The state Gaming Control Board has authorized a casino license for a proposed racetrack in the northeastern New Mexico community of Raton. It clears the way for the project to proceed, since the state Racing Commission earlier gave approval for horse racing.

Project manager Michael Moldenhauer says construction activity should begin in the next two weeks.

The board acted after an investor, Marc Correra, said he was withdrawing his application from the project. A news release issued by the Gaming Control Board indicates Correra has decided to focus on other business opportunities.

Board Chairman David Norvell told Moldenhauer the project means a lot to the Raton area and that failure is not an option.

Correra shared in more than $15 million in fees for helping secure business for clients who handled state pension and permanent fund investments. His father Anthony Correra is a contributor to and adviser of Gov. Bill Richardson. Marc Correra's lawyer Sam Bregman has said political connections had nothing to do with his client getting so many fees.

Here's the link to my story about last month's meeting CLICK HERE

UPDATE: Just got a copy of the news release referred to in the Associated Press story. It says the Gaming Control Board received a "communique" from Correra's Chicago attorney saying Correra was withdrawing his application for his "individual finding of suitability in connection with the racetrack/casino application filed by Horse Racing in Raton Limited Partnership."

"Mr. Correra has decided to focus on other business opportunities currently available to him

"The Board respects Mr. Correra's decision and would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for his participation in our licensing process," the news release says. "We compliment him on his professionalism and wish him the very best in his future endeavors."

Lawyer Sam Bregman, Correra and Moldenhauer at last month's Gaming Control Board meeting.