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Beshear names Kerry Harvey, former justice secretary, to Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

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Beshear names Kerry Harvey, former justice secretary, to Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

May 24, 2024 | 6:29 pm ET
By Liam Niemeyer
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Beshear names Kerry Harvey, former justice secretary, to Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
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Kerry Harvey (KETscreenshot)

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has appointed the former secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet to the commission that oversees horse racing and sports gambling in the state. 

Kerry Harvey, of Lexington, will succeed Naveed Chowhan, a Louisville-area doctor, whose term expired on the 15-member Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Beshear announced Friday the appointment of Harvey to the commission among a list of other board appointments. 

The commission has broad oversight over gambling in Kentucky, including betting on horse races, sports wagering and equine safety and medications. Other statutory commission members include secretaries for the Public Protection Cabinet, the Cabinet for Economic Development and the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. 

Harvey left his role leading the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet in February after announcing his retirement last year. Less than a week after his departure, Beshear appointed Harvey to the Kentucky Board of Cosmetology. 

Republican lawmakers had criticized Harvey and former Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Vicki Reed in response to reports of understaffing and violence in juvenile detention centers. Beshear appointed Harvey and Reed in their respective cabinet positions in 2021. 

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a civil rights investigation into the conditions at one development center and eight youth detention centers in the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice.

Before his role as cabinet secretary, Harvey served as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2010 to 2017. As a federal prosecutor, Harvey created an “Overdose Prosecution Initiative” to address Kentucky’s opioid epidemic. Harvey was a top attorney in the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services during the administration of Gov. Steve. Beshear.