HARRISBURG - A law that limits the ability of employees of the state gambling regulatory agency to move into casino industry jobs applies not only to top officials but to midlevel employees as well, the State Ethics Commission said yesterday. But the panel said it lacks jurisdiction to decide whether the law applies to lawyers because that profession is regulated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

As a result, it will be up to Michelle Afragola, the former deputy director of regulatory review for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, to seek a court opinion on whether she will have to wait a year before working for a casino entity involved in Pennsylvania.

Afragola left the gaming board Jan. 26 and moved to Connecticut. She challenged a part of Pennsylvania's slot-machine law that bars gaming board employees from working in the industry for a year after leaving if they were "substantially" involved in licensing, enforcement and writing regulations and policy. Afragola argued that the law should not apply to gaming board employees who, like her, lacked discretionary authority to make policy decisions.

Afragola received a law degree from Villanova University in 2004 and clerked for Mary DiGiacomo Colins, a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge. Afragola followed Colins when the judge was appointed to the gaming control board. - AP