PA Governor Rendell Appoints Frank Friel Chairman of Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Nationally Recognized Security Expert, Former Philadelphia Homicide Detective

is First of Three Gubernatorial Appointees

Aug 11, 2004, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Governor Edward G.
 Rendell today appointed Frank Friel as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming
 Control Board for a three-year term, the first of three gubernatorial
 appointments. Friel is a veteran of the Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit and
 nationally recognized expert in security, police procedures, investigative
 practices and organized crime. Friel is currently the Director of Security and
 Parking at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
     "Frank Friel was made for this job - a respected law man with years of
 fighting organized crime under his belt," said Governor Rendell. "I can think
 of no one better to serve Pennsylvania on this Board. "Frank's integrity is
 unquestionable, and his commitment to upholding the law and expertise in the
 field of organized crime will be invaluable to the full Board and ultimately
 our citizens. The fact that he will serve as Chairman underscores the critical
 importance of integrity throughout this process."
     Friel, 62, spent more than 30 years in law enforcement. After rising
 through the ranks from Patrolman to one of the top homicide detectives in the
 Philadelphia Police Department, Friel became the Director of Public Safety for
 Bensalem Township. Friel is credited with directing investigations into
 Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra murders and successfully prosecuting more than 60
 organized crime members and associates - including notorious mobster Nicky
 Scarfo and many of his henchmen, Harry "The Hunchback" Riccobene, Salvatore
 "Chucky" Merlino and Lawrence "Yogi" Merlino, uncle and father of current
 Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Merlino.  Friel's work led to the establishment
 of a network of organized crime informants that still provides both historical
 and current information on La Cosa Nostra family illegal activities.
     "Working with the Legislature, we included serious anti-crime and anti-
 corruption measures in our state's expanded gaming laws," said Governor
 Rendell.  "Frank Friel will help to ensure that the right people get gaming
 licenses and that the Pennsylvania gaming industry is not plagued by
 corruption and never will be infiltrated by organized crime."
     "I am gratified and excited by this appointment," said Friel.  "My
 extensive experience with organized crime prosecutions will allow me to assist
 the Board in adopting and implementing rules, regulations and enforcement
 procedures that will ensure that expanded gaming is conducted in Pennsylvania
 openly, honestly and without corruption of any kind.  I look forward to
 working over the next months with the Governor's office and other stakeholders
 - including my fellow Board members - to be in a position to begin the
 substantial work of the Board early in the Fall."
     The Gaming Control Board will oversee all licensing and operations of
 gaming venues.
     The Board will:
     -- Issue, deny, renew, revoke or suspend issuance of any license or
     -- Enforce the provisions of the bill by, among other things, examining
         witnesses and issuing subpoenas and document requests.
     -- Develop and implement an affirmative action plan.
     -- Require that licensees submit financial reports.
     -- Make sure that slot machines are properly inspected and certified.
     -- Require that anyone under 21 years of age not be permitted to use slot
     -- Ensure that the Department of Revenue and Pennsylvania State Police
         use their full enforcement powers to protect our citizens.
     -- Conduct open proceedings in accordance with Pennsylvania law.
     The Pennsylvania State Police, with the assistance of the Attorney
 General, will conduct extensive background checks on any person investing in,
 managing or being employed in any of the gaming facilities.  In addition,
 these same background checks will be conducted on any person serving on the
 Gaming Control Board. Friel's appointment is subject to completion of a
 successful State Police background check.
     CONTACT: Kate Philips, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor,

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor