Report: Domestic Violence Arrest Preceded Avioli’s Departure As CEO Of Thoroughbred Owners Of California

A Feb. 20 domestic violence arrest preceded Greg Avioli’s April 1 resignation as president and CEO of Thoroughbred Owners of California, according to a published report in Daily Racing Form by the publication’s national correspondent, Jay Privman.

Citing a San Diego Police Department arrest report, Privman said Avioli was taken into custody after his wife, Liesl Bernard, called police from a local hospital, where she had gone to determine whether or not she had suffered a concussion. The police report said Bernard “sustained a black eye, and bruising to her face, wrists, lips and neck.”

Bernard told police she and Avioli argued after hosting another couple for dinner the previous night, with the argument turning violent when she said Avioli “pulled me down to the ground from my hair,” then punched her twice and “covered my mouth with his hand.” Bernard said the back of her head hit a marble floor.

The report said Bernard told police there had been four or five prior unreported incidents of domestic violence. Avioli and Bernard were married last August.

The case against Avioli was dismissed “without prejudice” on March 15 by a San Diego Superior Court judge, the report states, with the stipulation that Avioli undergo anger management and alcohol counseling. A temporary restraining order Bernard had sought in February also was dismissed at her request. The couple is attempting to reconcile, with the report stating they have agreed to attend a “three- or four-day residential marital retreat focused on conflict resolution.”

Avioli faces no criminal charges at this time, according to DRF.

Avioli has held several executive positions in the industry prior to joining TOC in 2016, including chief operating officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, president and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup and CEO of a division of the Stronach Group.

A search has begun for Avioli’s replacement at TOC.

Read more at Daily Racing Form.

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