Rendell confirms head of gaming board to step down


The Rendell administration this morning confirmed that Mary DiGiacomo Colins, the chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, would be stepping down from the agency within the next six weeks.

Colins, 60, will be replaced by Gov. Rendell’s chief of staff, Greg Fajt, according to Chuck Ardo, the governor's press secrertary.

Ardo said it remained unclear why Colins, who has served on the board since it was created in 2004, was leaving.

“There is still work to be done and she intends to do that work,” said Ardo, who would not elaborate on that point.

However, Colins is awaiting an appointment as a senior judge within the state court system.

At a news conference this morning, Sen. Jane Orie (R., Allegheny) said she was disappointed by Rendell’s choice of Fajt.

“There is going to be a taint,” said Orie, a leading critic of the gaming board. There is that inference that he is an insider who can be controlled, and you just don’t want that on the board.”

Ardo, however, called Fajt a “perfect fit” for the job, noting his experience as a state representative from Pittsburgh and his years as state Revenue Secretary.

As for Orie’s criticism, Ardo said “Sen. Orie would be displeased if this administration appointed St. Paul to the gaming board.”

Fajt will be replaced as Rendell’s chief of staff by Steve Crawford, who has served as the governor’s secretary of legislative affairs since he took office.

Citing sources, The Inquirer reported the personnel moves in today’s editions.


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