By Zach Arnold | November 15, 2007
By Zach Arnold
Larry Hazzard, who was Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board until Wednesday afternoon after he was escorted out of his office by authorities, has fired back at Attorney General Anne Milgram in The Newark Star-Ledger.
Hazzard, a former three-time Golden Gloves champ never known to shy from a fight, called the move “retaliation” for his writing to Gov. Jon Corzine about a dispute with Milgram’s office over employees Hazzard believed were jeopardizing the health of fighters.
Milgram’s office landed another shot, Hazzard said, by firing him on the eve of his nephew’s funeral, which they knew was yesterday.
“It’s in retaliation for the letter and that some people took exception for what’s in the letter,” Hazzard said during an interview following the funeral. “‘I always challenge that stuff — that’s the way I am. … But in New Jersey state government, at least in the Department of Law and Public Safety, this time it wasn’t appreciated.”
However, that is not the most important quote from the article. Here’s the money quote:
In a letter sent to the governor on Oct. 23, a copy of which was obtained by The Star-Ledger, Hazzard’s attorney, James J. Binns, claimed his client was told “not to document the malfeasance and misfeasance” of a board employee even though it “jeopardized the welfare of contestants.” Among the concerns, Binns wrote, were the employee’s decisions to sanction mismatches in mixed martial arts contests, to okay a fighter who failed to test negative for HIV and to allow promoters to “shop” for medical approvals for their fighters.
So, here’s the obvious question to ask…
Who would be the employee that Hazzard is targeting? Until Hazzard names names, no one is for certain going to know who he is talking about.
Is Hazzard targeting Sylvester Cuyler, who is now replacing Hazzard as commissioner? Cuyler was previously deputy commissioner on the NJACB. Perhaps there are other possible candidates that Hazzard could be targeting based on this list of who is on the NJACB. Or is the employee with the DLPS? Will Hazzard file a lawsuit in the future and start naming names?
We’ll finish off this post with another comment from Hazzard in the USA Today newspaper:
“My lawyer had sent a letter basically outlining some serious blunders being made that could create a situation where someone will be very seriously injured or killed,” Hazzard said. “Instead of addressing the issues, they invited me into their office and thanked me for my years of service.”
This story has major ramifications for both boxing and MMA if the allegations that Hazzard are making are truthful.