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Amidst DCA/CSAC civil war chaos, a second CSAC member (Brian Edwards) is gone

By Zach Arnold | June 24, 2012

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On Friday, we reported that George Dodd was out as Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission. Given the on-going civil war between the Department of Consumer Affairs and the commission, Dodd’s departure was a fait accompli.

However, a second departure from the commission should raise just as many eye brows. Brian Edwards, who was appointed to the CSAC by Governor Jerry Brown last year, is now gone from the CSAC. Here’s how Governor Brown introduced the addition of Edwards to the commission at the time of the appointment:

Brian Edwards, 48, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the California State Athletic Commission. Edwards is the chief operating officer of Relativity Media. Previously, he was the chief operating officer and general counsel of Mark Burnett Productions from 2009 to May 2011 and the president and chief operating officer at Overnight Productions from 2007 to 2009. Edwards was the chief operating officer and general counsel at DreamWorks, LLC from 2004 to 2007 after serving as the head of legal affairs from 1999 to 2004. Edwards worked at Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger, serving as a partner from 1996 to 1999 after serving as an associate from 1989 to 1996. Edwards was a co-executive producer of the TV series, “The Contender.” This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Edwards is registered decline-to-state.

During our investigation of CSAC Chairman John Frierson, we took notice of Brian Edwards’ appointment because of a huge conflict of interest that The Los Angeles Times spelled out in an August 25th, 2004 article. Edwards was COO and general counsel at Dreamworks, LLC during the time that the reality show The Contender was being produced. This show, along with another boxing reality TV show called The Next Great Champ, received huge tax breaks from the CSAC and also did not have to follow disclosure rules regarding results of taped bouts. Frierson was on the commission at the time that the business decisions were made. Even worse, controversial California Deputy Attorney General Karen Chappelle & DCA counsel Anita Scuri approved and/or signed off on the business deals.

It reminded me of the state’s Business and Professions Code, 450.5:

450.5. A public member, or a lay member, at any time within five years immediately preceding his or her appointment, shall not have been engaged in pursuits which lie within the field of the industry or profession, or have provided representation to the industry or profession, regulated by the board of which he or she is a member, nor shall he or she engage in those pursuits or provide that representation during his or her term of office.

Despite this potential conflict of interest in Governor Jerry Brown appointing Brian Edwards to the CSAC board in 2011, the reputation of Mr. Edwards as someone with a solid background for helping out the commission handle business affairs was never really questioned. At the now infamous June 4th, 2012 San Diego hearing, you could listen to a couple of the commissioners on the board talking about Mr. Edwards having a sharp mind and utilizing his help when going over some pressing issues down the road.

While the DCA has not made an official announcement regarding the departure of Brian Edwards, we noticed something that caught our eye on the June 26th meeting materials packet for the CSAC’s hearing in South El Monte, California. His name was also not listed on the two-page agenda PDF that was released before the meeting materials were released.

Compare and contrast the following screen caps (first shot from June 4th agenda, second shot from June 26th agenda):

This wasn’t the only thing we noticed about these documents. We had a pretty good feeling that the DCA had already moved on from George Dodd as Executive Director because his name was replaced at the bottom of the documents in regards to having his contact information listed for those who have physical disabilities and need accommodations in order to attend the 6/26 hearing. Dodd’s name was replaced by Roseanna Leon of the DCA.

Compare and contrast the following screen caps (first shot from June 4th agenda, second shot from June 26th agenda):

In the June 26th meeting materials packet, the insolvency letter that was fired off by the DCA to the CSAC board members was published online. The letter claimed that DCA had a meeting with George Dodd about the commission’s finances on May 23rd. Brian Edwards’ name was listed as being a recipient of the insolvency letter. Mr. Edwards was not in attendance for the June 4th San Diego hearing. Soon after that meeting, he was gone from the commission.

Maybe he can give former CSAC AEO Bill Douglas a call at the Pest Control Board for some work.

Both George Dodd & Brian Edwards are gone from the CSAC. Anita Scuri, who we noted up above as having a role in approving the tax breaks for the reality boxing TV shows, departed DCA/CSAC after the June 4th meeting.

This is just the first wave of individuals about to hit the exits. Whether DCA has figured this out (yet) or not, that’s another story.

Tuesday’s hearing in South El Monte, California will be quite an interesting affair.

Topics: Boxing, CSAC, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 6 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

6 Responses to “Amidst DCA/CSAC civil war chaos, a second CSAC member (Brian Edwards) is gone”

  1. […] Amidst DCA/CSAC civil war chaos, a second CSAC member (Brian Edwards) is gone (June 24th, 2012) […]

  2. […] Amidst DCA/CSAC civil war chaos, a second CSAC member (Brian Edwards) is gone (June 24th, 2012) […]

  3. […] Amidst DCA/CSAC civil war chaos, a second CSAC member (Brian Edwards) is gone (June 24th, 2012) […]

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