Lt. Governor's Chief of Staff Hired to Direct State Racing Commission

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Ron Oliver says he's leaving his job as Lt. Governor Bill Halter's chief of staff to head the Arkansas Racing Commission.  Oliver said yesterday he will begin work August 1 as the commission's executive director.

The former chairman of the state Democratic Party said he would leave Halter's office later this month.  He said he wanted to run a small state agency again, as he did when he directed the Arkansas Burial Associaton in the 1980s.

The 60-year-old Oliver will replace Shelby McCook, who retired as the commission's manager earlier this year.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)