CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Democratic former member of the state Racing Commission appealed to the state Supreme Court his removal by Republican Gov. Cecil Underwood.
Tom Rice, a Martinsburg businessman and former chief of operations for former Gov. Gaston Caperton, was removed from the commission Nov. 13 after he refused to resign.
Rice's attorney, Pat Maroney, has said Underwood removed Rice because he wanted to establish Republican control on the commission. Maroney also is co-chairman of the state Democratic Party.
Kanawha County Circuit Judge Andrew MacQueen has upheld the governor's right to remove Rice from the commission.
Filed Friday, Rice's appeal said MacQueen's ruling lets the governor exert a ''coercive influence'' that threatens the balance of power between the three branches of government.