New York Racing Association President and CEO Charlie Hayward, along with General Counsel Patrick Kehoe have been put on unpaid leave pending further review as the controversy surrounding the incorrect takeout rates grew today.

“NYRA takes the matters identified by the Franchise Oversight Board and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board extremely seriously,” said NYRA Chairman Steven Duncker. “NYRA will take all appropriate steps and actions to cooperate with the State’s inquiries and insure the integrity of our operations. As part of these efforts, we will respond to Chairman Megna’s letter as requested by May 4th. NYRA has worked diligently over the past number of years to improve the racing and agricultural industries in New York State and enhance its national status as an industry leader, and we will continue with that commitment.”

A preliminary report issued Sunday from the state Racing and Wagering Board found the association, a public-benefit corporation, knowingly withheld nearly $8.6 million and may have violated the law.

Hayward, a familiar face at the state’s racetracks, had initially said the incorrect takeout rates from the gambling winnings had been an oversight, but later told the publisher of The Daily Racing Form “political forces” played a role in stopping him from taking further action and waited after pressure from the Cuomo administration.

The matter has been referred to the state inspector general’s office.

Earlier today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the report “shocking.”

“If the facts are correct, it’s very troubling to say the least,” the governor said at a Red Room news conference. “It’s been referred to the inspector general and we’ll await the report.”