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By Zach Arnold | July 16, 2012
First, the internal memo:
Officials and Inspectors,
This is one of the harder emails that I have had to write since being the Executive Officer. But I wanted to inform you all that I notified Chairman and Vice Chairman that on July 31, 2012 will be my last day as the Executive Officer. I want to thank everyone here for your friendship and your knowledge of combative sports that you shared with me. I appreciate you dedication to keeping the fighters safe and all the extra work that everyone has put in.
I feel that the commission has come a long way since I was appointed as the Executive Officer but I know that it has a long way to go.
It is hard to give something up you really enjoy doing, but at this point in my career it is for the best for me and my family. As with any career there are high points and low points and when those low points start affecting the ones that you love its time to find something better.
I am not sure of who the commission will appoint as the interim executive officer, but until they appoint someone Kathi will be running the day to day operations starting on August 1, 2012. She is willing to listen and learn, so please give her all the knowledge that you have given me.
Although the commission is going through some difficult times, I truly believe in the future the commission will be productive and have many great years to come.
California State Athletic Commission
Now, the official resignation letter:
July 16, 2012
California State Athletic Commission
John Frierson, Chairman
2005 Evergreen Street
Sacramento, CA 95815
Department of Consumer Affairs
Denise Brown, Director
1645 N. Market Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95834
Dear Chairman Frierson,
This is my formal notification that I am resigning as the Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission. July 31, 2012 will be my last day of employment.
At this stay of my career I feel that its time to move onto new opportunities and challenges that are not available to me here. I appreciate the opportunities I have been given here, and wish the commission much success in the future.
Cc: Eugene Hernandez, Vice Chairman
Van Lemon, Commissioners
Christopher Giza, Commissioners
Dean Grafilo, Commissioners
Kathi Burns, Assistant Executive Officer
Che Guevara, Chief Athletic Inspector
There is plenty of details behind what happened here on Monday. And now, for the rest of the story…
How the wheels were set in motion for DCA’s revenge in the civil war
After the infamous June 26th meeting in El Monte, California in which the Department of Consumer Affairs sent a dozen officials to get George Dodd terminated as the Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission, DCA thought they had the upper hand in the civil war with CSAC. However, the board members on CSAC refused to fire George Dodd and DCA went crazy. Their paranoia levels reached an all-time high.
According to a source on background with knowledge of the closed door meeting in El Monte, DCA had prepared a press release for CSAC. The press release allegedly stated that CSAC had fired George Dodd. Linda Forster was described as emotional about the financial predicament of CSAC and didn’t want to ruin her political career and have the stain of insolvency. She was said to be animated in her desire to fire Dodd. However, others on CSAC refused to go along with DCA’s wishes.
The same source on background claimed that there was pressure from the California state Senate, via notification from Governor Jerry Brown’s office, that Republicans in the state Senate wanted CSAC board members to fire Dodd or else their terms would be allowed to expire at CSAC. In other words, either fire Dodd or else you’re gone from CSAC.
Now you can see why Brian Edwards, who was appointed to CSAC a year ago, wanted no part of the El Monte charade on 6/26. Linda Forster voted to fire Dodd. However, when the others at CSAC refused to do so, she resigned. The source on background claims that she quit because she was promised backing by CADEM (California Democratic Party) for an upcoming political race in her district and she didn’t want to jeopardize her political career. Mike Munoz, the only member of the CSAC board with boxing experience (Golden Gloves), also received the warning from the Governor’s office. He voted to censure, but not fire Dodd. As a result, the state Senate allowed his term to expire at CSAC. He is gone. There are now only four board members.
Furthermore, CSAC Vice Chairman Eugene Hernandez is reportedly under the belief that he is the next target by DCA & Sacramento for his term at CSAC in terms of expiration.
As to why there was interest in Sacramento for George Dodd’s firing, given that CSAC is politically such a low-priority board under DCA management, the source on background indicated that DCA head honcho Denise Brown (appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in January of 2012) “needed a pelt” to show the Sacramento politicians (in the state Senate’s rules committee) how tough she would be as DCA boss. George Dodd proved to be a useful foil. Brown was only confirmed by the state Senate a couple of weeks ago. Perfect timing.
But wait, there’s more.
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.
As for the curious timing of DCA picking June 30th for a fake emergency meeting right before the end of the Fiscal Year, our primary source on background noted something very curious — there was still money apparently left for funds at CSAC. Allegedly, Dodd had asked for DCA to officially recognize that the commission was solvent and that finances were going to improve throughout the upcoming year. DCA supposedly refused to do this and continued with the agency line that CSAC was in the red by $35,000. By acknowledging that there were funds left at CSAC, it would make it more difficult to get a loan from the state’s General Fund.
By this point, Dodd knew that his CSAC career was basically finished.
With Brian Edwards, Linda Forster, Mike Munoz, and George Dodd now gone from CSAC, DCA is preparing to purge out all their perceived ‘enemies’ at CSAC. One plan would supposedly involve stripping down the CSAC office to a few employees and keeping people based on their level of seniority as a state employee, not how much experience they have at CSAC or in the fight business.
Translation: We want our government lifers from other DCA boards to be dumped & transferred to CSAC when budget cuts happen elsewhere. We discussed this very principle on Jordan Breen’s radio show at Sherdog a couple of weeks ago.
A perfect example of this policy at work is Kathi Burns, a person transferred to CSAC by DCA with no previous experience in the fight game, was moved to work alongside George Dodd. Suddenly, as in last Sunday at the 9 AM stakeholders call, she introduced herself as Assistant Executive Officer of CSAC. In order for such a move to be legal, it would have had to have been approved by the CSAC board. It wasn’t. AEO was the terminology used for interim Executive Directors when Armando Garcia was jettisoned out of CSAC and Bill Douglas/Dave Thornton filled in for him.
Now, Dodd says that Kathi will take over as head at CSAC for DCA starting on August 1st. If you’re wondering if DCA has the automatic right to appoint someone as AEO without CSAC board approval, the answer is they legally have no grounds to do so.
I channel California Business & Professions Code 18613 for you:
(a) (1) The commission shall appoint a person exempt from civil service who shall be designated as an executive officer and who shall exercise the powers and perform the duties delegated by the commission and vested in him or her by this chapter. The appointment of the executive officer is subject to the approval of the Director of Consumer Affairs.
(2) The commission may employ in accordance with Section 154 other personnel as may be necessary for the administration of this chapter.
(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2014, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2014, deletes or extends that date.
Any and all matters relating to employment, tenure or discipline of employees of any board, agency or commission, shall be initiated by said board, agency or commission, but all such actions shall, before reference to the State Personnel Board, receive the approval of the appointing power.
To effect the purposes of Division 1 of this code and each agency of the department, employment of all personnel shall be in accord with Article XXIV of the Constitution, the law and rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board. Each board, agency or commission, shall select its employees from a list of eligibles obtained by the appointing power from the State Personnel Board. The person selected by the board, agency or commission to fill any position or vacancy shall thereafter be reported by the board, agency or commission, to the appointing power.
DCA, with help from their allies in the California state Senate in Sacramento, are promptly taking charge in the civil war that will decimate the California State Athletic Commission. More firings, resignations, and lawsuits are coming. They just don’t want you to know about it.
- Investigation: The future of combat sports in California (May 6th)
- Investigation: How did (then) 80 year old scandal-plagued politician John Frierson get an important job promotion? (May 9th)
- The politics of MMA’s testosterone push & California’s coming collapse (June 7th)
- California State Athletic Commission on a path towards insolvency, could get shut down (June 10th, 2012)
- PDF report now online – Blame game: DCA, CSAC civil war (emergency 6/26 meeting set by DCA) (June 16th, 2012)
- DCA/CSAC civil war: Taxpayers & promoters get a raw deal in California (June 19th, 2012)
- DCA outlines potential CSAC fraud; Dodd out as Executive Director (June 22nd, 2012)
- Amidst DCA/CSAC civil war chaos, a second CSAC member (Brian Edwards) is gone (June 24th, 2012)
- Source – George Dodd prepared for showdown w/ DCA on Tuesday (June 24th, 2012)
- DCA, CSAC face retaliation & age discrimination lawsuit (June 25th, 2012)
- Explaining the motives of the DCA/CSAC civil war (June 26th, 2012)
- Civil war: CSAC keeps George Dodd (against DCA wishes) (June 26th, 2012)
- How the CSAC fought DCA’s power grab (June 28th, 2012)
- DCA’s illegal Saturday morning CSAC meeting (June 29th, 2012)
- Explaining why DCA’s Saturday CSAC hearing was illegal (June 30th, 2012)
- DCA’s new spin on illegal CSAC hearing doesn’t cut it (July 2nd, 2012)
- Incredible – DCA advising CSAC on getting a loan (July 6th, 2012)
- DCA preparing CSAC loan to help cover debt, some of which DCA admits was caused by fraud (July 9th, 2012)
- Horrible atmosphere at CSAC, strained promoter relations (July 12th, 2012)
- Notes from 9 AM CSAC stakeholders call (July 15th, 2012)