Racino Lawsuit Accuses NM Commission Of 'Sabotage'

Jan 3, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Raton company has filed a lawsuit accusing the New Mexico Racing Commission of working to "sabotage" its plans for a $50 million racino in favor of a rival casino operator.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque says commissioners let the license for La Mesa Racetrack and Casino expire after the project faced a number of delays. The lawsuit also accused former commissioner Marty Cope of intentionally blocking the racino project because she was a friend of a rival.

The move comes after La Mesa spent millions of dollars on the northern New Mexico project originally set to open in 2010.

La Mesa seeks an unspecified amount for damages.

The commission says it can't comment on the lawsuit but notes it stems from actions by a different commission that was under a different administration.

No one answered a phone number listed for Cope's Alto, N.M., home.