By: Ray Paulick
Dr. Patricia Marquis, the attending track veterinarian for Gulfstream Park, has been fined $250 for failure to fully cooperate with investigative staff employed by the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. The staff members were routinely investigating the deaths of Thoroughbreds injured while racing at the South Florida track in 2014 and 2015.
The Consent Order was filed with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation on March 11. It is the result of an Administrative Complaint filed Nov. 23, 2015, alleging six instances where Marquis “repeatedly showed an unwillingness to comply with the requests of (the division’s) employees that were essential for the completion of their investigations.”
Section 550.0251 (9) of Florida Statutes states that “The division may conduct investigations.” Rule 61D-2.003, Florida Administrative Code, states: “No person shall knowingly engage in conduct that resists, obstructs, or opposes a division employee in the performance of his or her duties and responsibilities on the permitholder’s premises.”
The Administrative Complaint said Marquis “asserted privileged communication and stated she would not release any information regarding the death of the racing animal without written authorization from the racing animal’s owner or trainer. … When the investigator obtained a copy of a release from the racing animal’s trainer and indicated same, (Marquis) still would not produce relevant information.”
In another case, when investigators wanted to interview a security guard who witnessed the late administration of race-day Salix (furosemide), Marquis allegedly gave the security guard “specific instructions not to provide any information to the investigators with regard to the matter without an attorney or supervisor present. Unable to complete the interview,” the complaint said, “the investigators left the facility’s premises.”
The Consent Order states that it “was entered into in consideration of mitigation relating to (Marquis’) willingness to fully comply and cooperate with any and all requests made by (the division) or its employee in the performance of statutorily divisional duties and responsibilities going forward.”
Marquis succeeded Dr. Mary Scollay as attending veterinarian at South Florida Thoroughbred tracks in 2008 when the latter became Equine Medical Director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Her license remains in good standing.