Friend of our site


MMA Headlines


UFC HP


MMA Fighting


MMA Torch


MMA Weekly


Sherdog (News)


Sherdog (Articles)


MMA Junkie


MMA Mania


Bloody Elbow


MMA Ratings


Rating Fights


Yahoo MMA Blog


Search this site



Latest Articles


News Corner


MMA Rising


Audio Corner


Oddscast


Sherdog Radio


Video Corner


Fight Hub


Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index


To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site


Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback


Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

New CSAC documentation: Che Guevara’s political shadow war growing in scope

By Zach Arnold | December 25, 2012

Print Friendly and PDF

Brand new documents uncovered by Fight Opinion regarding the booking activity of California State Athletic Commission Chief Inspector Che Guevara reveal that Guevara is consolidating his political power to ensure his status as most influential kingmaker in California combat sports regulation. The documents, covering the last couple of years worth of CSAC activity, detail how Guevara has managed to successfully play divide-and-conquer with athletic inspectors, judges, timekeepers, referees, and doctors in order to establish his political dominance at the Department of Consumer Affairs — no matter who the Executive Officer at CSAC is.

Introduction

Current Executive Officer Andy Foster is dealing with the thankless task of rebuilding an athletic commission torn apart by politics thanks to the Department of Consumer Affairs. It is DCA’s bastardized legal department, led by Doreathea Johnson, that didn’t want to help out the fighters in Oxnard who got stiffed by deadbeat promoters on pay. Andy Foster is helping the fighters get 100% of their money despite DCA legal claiming they should only get 50% of their fight money.

Who is the idiot that licensed the deadbeat promoters in Oxnard with a temporary license despite the fact that they had money troubles for their previous two shows? Che Guevara.

Andy is also running new training seminars for the inspectors, making sure that inspectors can use an Excel spreadsheet form to calculate the box office. Most of the inspectors being used as leads aren’t competent enough to calculate the box offices, costing the state of California significant revenue. Who is supposed to be responsible for training the inspectors on how to calculate a box office? Che Guevara. Who keeps booking inspectors who can’t run a box office? Che Guevara.

As Andy Foster attempts to clean up a dire situation in Sacramento, it is the Department of Consumer Affairs that is feeling the heat. One source claims that despite DCA’s layer of political protection for Che Guevara in the front office, DCA is now supposedly trying to spin that Guevara is not their golden boy. The truth is, DCA has had years worth of evidence to terminate (for cause) Guevara’s employment. Instead, he got a job promotion after he missed Antonio Margarito’s illegal handwraps in 2009 and then proceeded to perjure himself while hack lawyer Karen Chappelle from the AG’s office ‘prosecuted’ Margarito despite Guevara’s story not matching up with the stories of Dean Lohuis and Mike Bray.

So, there are zero excuses for DCA officials to try to run away from Guevara. He’s their hand-picked man. They made their bed with him and have been sleeping in it.

When Andy Foster took over as Executive Officer officially in early November, Guevara & CSAC was facing the heat from state auditors regarding why the commission was spending so much cash. Everyone understands why the mess was created in the first place. Che is the one who books the inspectors that work the shows. If the inspectors can’t do their jobs, that costs the state money. Che is the one who has the authority as the state’s matchmaker. All the power is centralized to him. He is the one who approves of the inspector time sheets, meaning the state is paying for salary + travel expenses + meals. Che is the one who makes sure that his political favorites get booked while those who don’t kiss his ass are benched, even if they are more qualified and cheaper to book for the state of California.

Which is why the fraudulent audit report by the Bureau of State Audits turned out to be such a dishonest smokescreen. We know why the commission has been hit hard by financial problems. The escalation of those problems coincides with Che Guevara’s tenure in Sacramento.

Che’s favorites

Thanks to newly uncovered documentation, we have a paper trail to look at regarding Guevara’s tactics as to how he has managed to keep power despite a new Executive Officer being appointed.

One facet of power that Guevara reportedly has lost is full control of matchmaking approval. Andy Foster has allegedly taken some of the power now, thankfully. However, Guevara has made up in his lost matchmaking power by gaining power in other ways on the job.

Guevara has managed to maintain his power amongst the inspectors by building a coalition of some competent inspectors with some totally incompetent inspectors that he can influence or control. Guevara is a master manipulator and deal maker, which is great for his personal political gain but not great for good governance. Guevara has managed to get Mohammad Noor, Mark Relyea, Valerie Douglas, Brian Morris, Raul Osegeura, Anthony Olivas, and Larry Ervin on his side. We’ll explain who each of these people are and where they stand. Through a mixture of these individuals, along with other full-time state employees, Guevara has maintained political control even though the full-time state inspectors are being force fed legal garbage about their paychecks by the Department of Consumer Affairs. Because Guevara has been able to cut deals with certain inspectors to keep them as ‘lead inspectors,’ he’s been able to massage certain individuals in regards to who gets paid what. Divide and conquer.

Brian Morris is based out of San Diego and works for the state in Corrections. Valerie Douglas works at the Employment Development Department. Raul Oseguera works for the Contractors State Licensing Board. Although they are not generally lead inspectors, they are top inspectors in Southern California. Che needs them on his side.

However, it is the lead inspectors where Guevara has managed to cobble a bizarre mixture of individuals to maintain his power.

Mohammad Noor is California’s best athletic inspector. However, he’s known as a lone wolf. Che losing Noor would severely hurt him politically. The problem for Noor is that the fraudulent state audit targeted people like him and DCA muttered some palaver stating that they would try to get back money that was paid to the full-timers. Since Noor makes the most out of any of the athletic inspectors, that means the target is on him. Noor’s day job with the state is that of being a financial examiner for the state’s Department of Finance. Credibility is a huge deal for Noor, especially if he has to testify as a witness in court cases. Being targeted by a fraudulent state audit puts a guy like Noor at risk. In 2011, Noor made $61,000 as a financial examiner and $34,500 as an athletic inspector.

Mark Relyea is a lieutenant at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He’s very solid at his job. For Che, having Relyea under his watch means dealing with a relatively trouble-free employee.

Anthony Olivas & Larry Ervin, however, are not exactly Noor or Relyea in our opinion in terms of experience, professionalism, or leadership. It is Olivas & Ervin who have benefited greatly since Guevara has been in power and it has a lot of people within the CSAC family talking.

Ervin, who works as a representative for the Employment Development Department at a salary of $44,000 a year, made over $31,000 last year as an athletic inspector. Ervin is politically friendly in CSAC circles because CSAC Chairman John Frierson is friendly with him. Frierson is a politically ally of Governor Jerry Brown.

One veteran CSAC source, when told of Ervin’s bookings as a lead inspector ticking upwards, expressed shock and dismay.

Multiple sources with knowledge of CSAC internal workings went further in criticism of Ervin, claiming that there is some confusion in regards to his wording & sentence structure used in event reports.

The biggest loser

With Noor, Relyea, and Ervin as top leads, Guevara has his allies in Southern California. However, there is no bigger ally currently within CSAC circles than Anthony Olivas.

“Nice kid,” one CSAC veteran remarked, “but he’s turned into a political animal.”

Olivas was the center of the controversy regarding the September 22nd event in Oxnard, California. Click the link to read our articles about Oxnard if you want further details.

A summary for you: Olivas was the lead inspector for a show promoted by El Dorado Restaurant, a restaurant owned by Raul Orozco. Orozco had a temporary promoter’s license in his name. Orozco’s running buddy Armando Renteria is a manager for a boxer named Jose Aguiniga. Orozco and Renteria ran two shows and some fighters had issues with payment from the first two shows. Instead of suspending or revoking the license of Orozco, Guevara allowed Orozco to promote a third show. This proved to be a horribly reckless decision for many reasons. Besides the obvious reasons you could surmise, one reason Orozco should have not been allowed to continue is that the Ali Act explicitly states that a manager of a fighter cannot promote that fighter’s bout. Total conflict of interest. At the day of weigh-ins in preparation for the third show, Orozco reportedly didn’t show up. Instead, his running buddy Armando Renteria did show up. Orozco was the licensed promoter. The licensed promoter is supposed to sign the bout contracts at weigh-ins. By not having the licensed promoter sign the bout contracts at weigh-ins and signing off on them like Anthony Olivas did, it made the state of California liable as a third party to the contracts.

Then, all hell broke loose when the show got canceled at the last minute and the fighters didn’t get paid. Olivas, reportedly through orders from the Sacramento office, was trying to assist in getting fighters 20% of the purse. Then the number went to 50%. That’s the number that DCA legal (through Kathi Burns) was pushing. The bastards at Consumer Affairs didn’t want to do the right thing.

Thanks to our reporting, combined with assistance from attorney Farzad Tabatabai on behalf of fighter Crystal Morales, the Oxnard debacle received the scrutiny it deserved. Multiple sources on background claim that Olivas was furious at seeing his name in print on our site. Oxnard is a permanent stain on his record and a symbol of a total lack of leadership. It also proved to be a perfect example of Che having an inspector who he can control at any time.

In our opinion, Olivas should have been relieved of his duties or permanently demoted so that he wouldn’t be a lead inspector again in California. Instead, new documentation uncovered by Fight Opinion shows that Olivas may be on a similar career path to Che Guevara, his boss. Guevara, instead of getting fired over the illegal Antonio Margarito hand wraps, was promoted to golden boy status in Sacramento. Olivas, instead of getting demoted or fired, has seen his stock rise since the Oxnard debacle. In terms of actual event bookings in Southern California, Olivas is now the #2 lead inspector — only behind Mo Noor. It’s a stunning development that has many inspectors floored. One source with knowledge of inspector bookings claims that Guevara is using location as a reason for booking Olivas to so many shows, claiming that since Olivas lives in the middle of Los Angeles that he’s the closest lead inspector for events in the area.

The bottom line on inspectors

Through his usage of Mo Noor, Mark Relyea, Larry Ervin, and Anthony Olivas, Che Guevara has managed to maintain his power in Sacramento despite the force-feeding of a completely bogus legal opinion claiming that full-time state employees should not be paid time-and-a-half for salary. By having Noor on his side, Che is able to maintain credibility image-wise. The same with Relyea. However, Ervin and Olivas are a different story. That is more an issue about control & politics than anything else. Up in Northern California, Guevara is maintaining ties with his old CSAC office mates by keeping (the young) Nichole Bowles & Sarah Waklee working as top inspectors. No surprise.

The end result is that there are plenty of qualified inspectors on the sidelines wondering why they aren’t getting event bookings. Many of them also are not full-time state employees. An interesting development on the documentation we reviewed is that over the last few months there are some new names popping up on inspector lists. When you do background checks on the names, many of them show up as full-time state employees working under the umbrella of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

As you can see, this is a huge problem for Andy Foster. He’s trying his best to remedy the situation. However, Guevara is the one who maintains the political power in Sacramento. This development has led to several key people in the CSAC family wondering whether or not Andy will be able to accomplish his goals 100% or if Che will try to relegate him to puppet status. Andy is giving 100% of his effort, but the roadblocks he is dealing with as Executive Officer are really making his job that much more difficult.

“The Marijuana Doctor”

During our investigation of the blow-up in Oxnard, we had fighters remark to us about “a marijuana doctor” who was conducting the weigh-ins. I had never heard of this before, but I was curious. Since the fighters couldn’t produce a name, I forgot about the marijuana remarks.

However, new documentation relating to doctor bookings for shows by Che Guevara reveals who “the marijuana doctor” likely was that the fighters were talking about. The name is Chyle Beaird.

Beaird is a family practitioner licensed in Orange County. His state record (license G81865), on paper, appears to be clean. When we ran a search for Beaird on the American Board of Family Medicine site to see if he is board-certified or not, we couldn’t find anything. Beaird lists sports medicine as one of his qualifications.

According to booking documents we have recently reviewed, Dr. Beaird is working three or four shows dates a month.

When we started researching CSAC-booked doctors, we immediately noticed that Dr. Beaird’s name surfaced on marijuana dispensary web sites. If you use a search engine like Bing, the very first entry for Dr. Chyle Beaird is a SEO super-charged web site talking about ‘cannabis healing.’

Total Body HealthCare, Inc
Chyle E. Beaird, M.D.
Michael Gitter, M.D.
24432 Muirlands Blvd., Suite 131 Lake Forest, CA 92610

Office: 949-855-8845
Fax: 949-855-9167

It’s exactly what you think it is. The site is a promo for Total Body HealthCare Inc. in Lake Forest, California for Dr. Beaird and his partner Dr. Michael Gitter. In a sense, I guess he is ‘a marijuana doctor’ after all.

We are not here to question Dr. Beaird’s credentials as doctor nor are we here to trash doctors prescribing medical marijuana.

The reason we bring up Dr. Beaird’s medical marijuana site is because his background is the kind of thing that can prove embarrassing image-wise for the Athletic Commission, especially given the fact that CSAC (like other AC’s) tests fighters for marijuana metabolites in urine samples. It’s kind of hard to look at a fighter with a straight face and wag the finger about marijuana usage when you’re using ‘a marijuana doctor’ to oversee the health & safety of fighters at an event. We’re not exactly talking about a neurologist or an emergency room/trauma doctor here.

What makes the doctor bookings curious is that Che Guevara is the one who supposedly books the doctors for shows. I am baffled beyond belief that a doctor, like Van Buren Ross Lemons (on the CSAC commission) or Dr. Paul Wallace, is not in a position of authority on advising which doctors should be getting booked. Che Guevara booking doctors is a bad idea and it should have never been allowed in the first place. Some people have a history of bad judgment and this guy is the poster boy for bad judgment. It’s easy to book pros like Wallace. It’s booking doctors for the smaller and mid-sized shows that is just as important.

Conclusion

With Che Guevara concentrating power behind the scenes in Sacramento, it puts Andy Foster in a difficult position. He has so much on his plate to focus on, he can’t spend his time micromanaging what Guevara is doing behind the scenes. And that’s a problem. The evidence continues to mount that Che Guevara is putting himself in a position to benefit his political standing, not the standing of everyone involved in the business affairs of CSAC. His actions reflect negatively upon others who are trying to do their best to right the ship. More and more people with a stake in what is going on are growing concerned about Guevara. The decisions he makes have a direct impact on the quality of combat sports regulation in California.

Topics: Boxing, CSAC, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 5 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

5 Responses to “New CSAC documentation: Che Guevara’s political shadow war growing in scope”

  1. Clint says:

    Great article too bad you can’t show how much they received for travel and expenses,in some cases that is more than their salaries for an event. They may keep Che forever just to spite you!

  2. Truth says:

    It’s very sad that you have nothing better to do on Christmas Day than to spread lies. Your articles are nothing more than 2nd rate, tabloid trash. You have no idea what you are talking about and you repeatedly report gossip for fact. I truly hope people have more common sense than to waste minutes of the lives on your attempt to stir up drama. Have some dignity. You and your “sources” should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      I’d expect the attacks from Sacramento, but your information has you right in Los Angeles. Huh. You don’t say.

      The most damning part for the parties involved is that the information is based on state documents. Don’t need to make up any claims. It’s right in print.

  3. klown says:

    “Truth”, care to be specific? There’s no substance to your comment, as it stands – just ad hominem attack.

  4. John Lovell says:

    A marijuana doctor involved in determining whether or not a fighter is using controlled substances? Surely we can do better.

    I said it a previous post, but it bears repeating: Huge praise to Andy Foster for interceding on behalf of the fighters who got stiffed in Oxnard. Someone helping the fighters before shoddy promoters; yet another example of an excellent appointment!

Comments

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image