Since the inception of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in 2011, Stephen Crosby has stood at its helm, leading the authority to become one of the most successful and transparent in the United States.
As such, the news of Crosby’s tendered resignation from his position was met with shock this week. Crosby has been accused of bias in the Wynn case, as the Gaming Commission gets ready to publicize the findings of its investigations into allegations of sexual conduct against Steve Wynn, and the way Wynn Resorts handled the allegations.
Announcing his resignation in a scathing letter to the Gaming Commission, Crosby wrote: “Just recently, I have twice been accused of prejudging the outcome of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau’s ongoing investigation regarding the suitability of Wynn Resorts.”
He said that Wynn’s attorneys had accused him of already making up his mind against the casino magnate.
“I simply cannot let my involvement in these critical deliberations be used by others to hamper the Commission’s ability to do its work, or to undermine the confidence of the public in that work,” he said in his letter sent on Wednesday. “There has never been a shred of truth or accuracy to any charge of bias, favoritism, corrupt practice, ethics violations, or prejudgment in my execution of this job.”
Crosby said that he felt sadness, regret and frustration that he had to resign as Chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
He wrote that he as leaving the leadership of the organization “in the very capable hands” of four Commissioners. Crosby’s seven-year term was set to end next year.
The Commission has already held a meeting to discuss how it will continue to handle the Wynn controversy without Crosby as leader. A new chairman of the Commission will be appointed by Governor Charlie Baker, as per the requirements of Massachusetts state law.
A spokesperson for the current Governor said that Baker thanked Crosby for his service and respected his decision to step aside as “the Commission moves forward with the important task of reviewing the Wynn company’s suitability.”