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After Dustin Holyko debacle, time for DBPR & Tallahassee to call Andy Foster in California; 60 second search would have revealed all on Holyko
By Zach Arnold | July 15, 2014
The one and only Tom Molloy
Let’s face it, the last four years for the Florida Boxing Commission have been rough. Hell, the whole Tom Molloy era was rough. Love the mugshot. Too bad his other career highlight was fighting Tony Danza.
Molloy essentially got fired over allegations that nobody was auditing the ticket manifestos from shows happening in the state, meaning the commission was supposedly losing out on a lot of money and that other (potential) illegal activity may have been taking place. And the auditor who oversaw that investigation, Cynthia Hefren, decided to take a fat pay raise by moving on from the IG’s office to… Tom Molloy’s position at the Boxing Commission to be the bean counter.
Hefren took Molloy’s job for a $90,000 yearly salary; and Frank Gentile, who worked alongside Tom Molloy on boxing matters, found himself appointed as the Assistant Executive Officer for FBC to handle field duties (yearly salary of $56,000). Christa Patterson, who worked next to Tom Molloy at DBPR, is still on DBPR payroll for nearly $50,000 a year. And Molloy’s woman was also kept around for a while after his termination. Molloy would get arrested for domestic battery in April of 2013.
Snapshot from Leon County, FL. court document
On October 30th, 2013, Molloy plead no contest to one misdemeanor count of domestic battery. He was given 12 months of probation, 100 hours of community service, and entered into a batterers intervention program. But he was allowed to maintain consensual-peaceable contact with Jami Molloy, whom Tom met while he was working at DBPR. Interestingly enough on the court paperwork, West Palm Beach is listed despite the plea deal being entered in Tallahassee. Perhaps a confirmation of the long-standing rumors that Molloy moved to South Florida to either promote events or try to work with Don King.
What’s Molloy up to now? He got licensed by the Florida Boxing Commission to be a boxing trainer.
Hefren jacked up licensing fees and tightened up financial protocols because DBPR was concerned about FBC’s finances. In March of 2013, the media controversy over Fallon Fox flared up in regards to how FBC handled that situation. At the heart of that situation was Kathy Gentile, Frank Gentile’s wife who is a lead athletic inspector for Florida events. Turns out four of the fighters on the March 1st South Florida card that Fallon Fox fought on didn’t have processed ABC MMA ID cards. These fighters were classified as “pending” for the status of their licenses. And what about the oversight on medicals?
A month after that situation mushroomed out of control into a media frenzy, one of FBC’s lawyers from DBPR got arrested in an April 2013 child sex sting.
Snapshot from Leon County, FL. court document
Eric Hurst was charged with two felonies: 1) unlawful use of a computer service; 2) traveling to meet a minor. On May 19th, 2014, Hurst entered a plea of no contest in Leon County, Florida. Hurst was turned over to the Department of Corrections. On count one, he was given a sentence of 60 months (5 years) and on count two he was given a sentence of 96 months (8 years) with an additional period of 7 years of probation tacked on after the jail sentence is completed. The terms will be served concurrently. Hurst is now officially a sex offender, cannot have unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old, and have all future internet activities monitored by special software.
The fruits of no leadership
All of this background information is useful when trying to understand why there has been so much chaos at the Florida Boxing Commission and why it has the horrible reputation that it currently has earned. It is the lowest of the low. Which is why when the news broke that a prelim fighter on the July 5th World Series of Fighting card in Daytona, Florida, fought with no active license on the card, it surprised absolutely no one. The fighter in question, Dustin Holyko, appeared on the televised portion of the NBC broadcast television window. He has tattoos of “white” and “pride” along with alleged neo-Nazi tattoos and a criminal record that he tried his best to explain away to MMA Junkie. WSOF released Holyko afterwards. While WSOF may deserve some heat here, the majority of the blame falls on Frank Gentile & Cynthia Hefren. Bottom line.
Why can I say that? Because a 60-second search on Florida’s licensing site revealed everything about Dustin Holyko’s fighter license:
It’s time for Florida’s DBPR to clean house. Get rid of Gentile, Hefren, and the rest of the crew. If Hefren hasn’t gotten new financial protocols set in place two years after Molloy’s run, then she should be fired anyways. It’s time for DBPR to give Andy Foster a call and formally ask him if he will make the jump from Sacramento to Tallahassee.
Before you ask, there are many reasons why Andy Foster getting out of Sacramento and moving to Florida makes sense for both parties involved in this discussion. This is a situation where 2 + 2 would equal 4.
Let’s face reality head on here. Andy Foster applied for the Nevada State Athletic Commission job and the UFC was supposedly very intrigued by the possibility of him getting the job. Instead, he came across way too strong in the interview process. Keith Kizer, who had resigned from the Executive Director slot, moved next door to the Attorney General’s office where he is now a puppet-master of sorts pulling the legal strings behind the scenes while Chris Eccles is the public face for the AG at hearings. Kizer’s guy, Bob Bennett, ended up getting the NSAC job. Andy went back to Sacramento and the clock started ticking for his enemies to start the sabotage. History shows that in Sacramento, your lifespan is very short as long as Consumer Affairs is manipulating the process. Consumer Affairs and Spencer Walker, a top attorney at DCA, are undefeated.
Throw into the mix that Andy had to relocate from a city like Atlanta to Sacramento. That’s a culture shock for any family. A move to Florida makes it a hell of a lot closer to visit family in Georgia. Florida would be an ideal exit strategy for Andy. It would also give him a new slate to work with.
Given how much the UFC likes Andy Foster, the other shoe to drop here is the fact that the Fertittas reportedly spent 6 figures to push through a secrecy law in Florida to neuter the Sunshine Act for open records at the Florida Boxing Commission. Everything is a “trade secret” now. The UFC did not throw major cash via political contributions into the Florida cesspool without having a purpose. It is clear that the organization has major plans in the future to run big events in Florida. If Andy Foster relocated to Tallahassee, the UFC would absolutely be thrilled. They would have a guy they like very much in power.
Consider the circumstances right now in Florida. Since Tom Molloy’s departure, there has only been a slight uptick in events. We’re talking about a state with nearly 20 million residents, 10 different media markets, major tourist destinations & airports, and lots of potential. And yet Florida, for a good month, is lucky to attract 3 or 4 professional events. A significant reason for Florida’s impotence is that they have created a labyrinth of tens of different sanctioning bodies that do their own thing. Cynthia Hefren may be maximizing FBC’s ability to count the beans, but there’s a difference between cost savings versus growth. And what Florida needs right now is a significant boost in growth to match the state’s demographics.
Cynthia Hefren is getting paid $90,000 a year to work for a commission that is lucky to get 40 shows in a year. Andy Foster is paid a similar salary, perhaps less, to work in a state which annually hits triple digits for show activity.
I’m sure Cynthia Hefren is politically juiced and well-connected. And Florida’s commission is not very media savvy or friendly. I get it. At some point, someone in Tallahassee is going to realize that they need someone who can come in and start recruiting promoters. They don’t have it now. For Andy Foster, finding a way to get to Tallahassee would serve a lot of purposes. Most importantly, finding a Florida exit strategy would allow him to leave Sacramento on his own terms rather than being forced to resigned or getting canned unceremoniously. The marriage needs to happen sooner rather than later.