By Joe Tash
Citing his frustration with certain practices of the state agricultural district that oversees the Del Mar fairgrounds, and his inability to enact reforms, fair board member Tom Chino has resigned from his seat.
Chino announced his decision Tuesday, Feb. 14, in an email to fellow board members and district staff. The decision came a month after Chino’s fellow board members questioned at the district’s regular meeting whether his relationship with a local attorney constituted a conflict of interest.
In the email, Chino cited what he called improper payout of funds to employees — a buyback program for leave hours which was criticized in recent state audits of the fairgrounds — and “the distribution of thousands of dollars of free tickets, concert admissions, free meals and the like to board members and others without proper record keeping…”
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