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DCA’s new spin on illegal CSAC meeting doesn’t cut it

By Zach Arnold | July 2, 2012

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On Saturday, we laid out our case to you with graphical evidence just how the Department of Consumer Affairs‘ attempt at an illegal meeting for the California State Athletic Commission violated multiple laws. They violated laws regarding public notification, classification of the meeting, and violating the Disabilities Act.

The article we wrote was based on the initial spin coming from DCA legal that they had classified their Saturday 9 AM last-minute CSAC meeting as a ‘special’ meeting as opposed to a standard public meeting. The problem with this spin is that in the agenda document they posted online 16 hours before the meeting took place, they cited Government codes in the public comment section that classified the meeting as a standard affair. They never listed the word ‘special’ or ’emergency’ in the document, which is not typical behavior for an agency controlled by the DCA when such an unusual meeting is called. They were arrogant and sloppy in their behavior of how they conducted business. Our assertion is that anyone who challenges the results of the meeting in court at a future date would win their court case.

Thanks to a great reader, here is the new spin from the Department of Consumer Affairs on Monday:

Just corresponded wtih Melissa Figueroa (Deputy Secretary, Communications State and Consumer Services Agency). She said, and I quote: “It was an emergency meeting, and the notice was posted Friday Afternoon.”

So, now we’ve gone from DCA legal proclaiming it was a ‘special’ meeting to an ’emergency’ meeting. This sleight of hand is a trick to bypass the notification rules that they have to give the public & the media for advance notice. A standard meeting requires 10-day advance notice. A special meeting requires 48 hours advance notice on the Internet and with news wires. An emergency meeting does not require advance notice.

From the Bagley-Keene Act that DCA legal signed off on for January 2012:

3. Notice Requirements for an Emergency Meeting

An emergency meeting may be held without complying with the 10-day notice requirement in Section 11125 or the 48-hour notice requirement in Section 11125.4. However, newspapers of general circulation, television and radio stations that have requested notice of meetings shall be notified of the emergency by telephone at least one hour before the meeting. If telephone services are not functioning, notice is deemed waived. The notice must be posted on the Internet as soon as practicable after the decision to call an emergency meeting has been made. However, newspapers, television and radio must be notified as soon as possible after the meeting of the fact of the meeting, its purpose, and any action taken. (§11125.5(c)).

4. Specific Requirements for an Emergency Meeting The following are required to be posted in a public place and on the Internet for a minimum of 10 days, as soon as possible after the emergency meeting:

* Minutes of the meeting
* A list of persons notified, or attempted to be notified, of the meeting
* Any action taken at the meeting
* The rollcall vote on action taken (§11125.5(d))

If they had classified the last-minute hearing as an emergency hearing, they would’ve had to label the agenda notification as such and would have had to cite the state government codes for calling an emergency meeting. They didn’t.

The codes they cited for public comment at the meeting are [Government Code Sections 11125, 11125.7(a)], which is the standard 10-day non-special non-emergency meeting legal lingo that they use for all agenda notifications.

As for the minutes requirement, the CSAC hasn’t posted minutes of a hearing since March 5th. And, on occasion, their minutes documentation does not entirely & accurately reflect what actually took place at the hearings.

There is no list of people made available of who they tried to contact to notify about their meeting. I have not found one individual, in the media or in the fight business, who knows what happened at the Saturday hearing. In fact, one source told me that there were people in the Sacramento office on Friday who had no clue that a Saturday hearing was even taking place. So much for serving the stakeholders who bring revenue to California.

The whole process stinks. The behavior of DCA here stinks. It’s no wonder that nobody has any confidence whatsoever in their decision-making ability to run a competent agency for regulation of combat sports in California. They may get away with their actions in the press, but they won’t in a court of law. This is why their Saturday stunt should absolutely be exposed.

Topics: CSAC, Media, Zach Arnold | 9 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

9 Responses to “DCA’s new spin on illegal CSAC meeting doesn’t cut it”

  1. […] At the end of the June 26th El Monte hearing, the CSAC board invoked a motion to discuss getting a loan from DCA to help out with any debt that would be on the books. DCA reportedly told CSAC that they felt the motion was improper and that they wanted a motion which would ensure that they could fire George Dodd. They did get not get their wish, hence the ambush June 30th 9 AM fake emergency meeting. […]

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