Maryland Acting Gov. Blair Lee III yesterday appointed the wife of State Lottery Chairman George P. Mahoney, who supported Lee's unsuccussful campaign for governor, to the Thoroughbred Board of the Maryland Racing Commission.
Ann Mahoney, 43, who worked as a volunteer in Lee's Democratic primary campaign this summer, will serve the remaining eight months of a term of a board member who died on August. The part time job pays $3,000 a year.
Appointments to the five-member racing commission, which sets dates for the state's throroughbred tracks and regulates ther racing industry, have often been handed out to campaign contributors and politically influential businessmen who have some interest in horses.
George Mahoney, who publicly endorsed Lee for governor shortly after the racing commission member died, said he discussed the opening with Lee but never asked him to appoint his wife. Nor did they discuss his campaign support as a condition for the appointment, he said.
"Blair Lee never promised and I never asked him," said Mahoney, 76, whose own long and active political career began with a term on the racing commission in the 1940s "he couldn't make a deal with me on anything. There's no commitment as far as I am concerned."