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Oversight hearing discusses administrative and operational deficiencies of California State Athletic Commission

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From Assemblymember Luis Alejo:

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) participated in an oversight hearing of the State Athletic Commission organized by the Senate Business, Profession, and Economic Development, the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection and the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committees.

Members of the Committees discussed with representatives from the State Athletic Commission and the Department of Consumers Affairs the results of a recent State Audit, requested by Assemblyman Alejo, which raised serious concerns with the financial management and administrative operations of the California State Athletic Commission.  During the oversight hearing Alejo raised serious concerns with the fact that the Chair of the Commission, Mr. Frierson, was not present at the hearing to answer questions regarding his involvement and responsibilities as Chairman of the Commission.

“Six audits, three internal audits by the Department of Consumer Affairs and three audits by the California State Auditor, over the past 6 years have highlighted the fact that the Commission has failed on its responsibility to manage its financial and administrative operations,” says Alejo.  “The sunset review report also shows the continued inability of the California State Athletic Commission to carry out its statutory duties with serious flaws and major improvements needed.   It is worrisome that many of the same problems go back to 2003 and persist a decade later.”

The California State Athletic Commission is responsible for protecting the health and safety of its licensees; boxers, kickboxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes. Through the years, the Commission has become one of the largest combat sports sanctioning bodies in the nation. The State Athletic Commission came under scrutiny when the Commission announced its insolvency due to excessive spending. Reports of financial problems and administrative wrongdoing led Alejo to request the audit last July.

“The State Audit report reveals that the Commission lacks a long-term plan to deal with its financial crisis.  It is unacceptable that even after fiscal problems became public the Commission’s board took 6 months to begin correcting the problem. Additionally, it was revealed that the Commission has violated state law in managing its Pension and Neurological Funds,” says Alejo. 

The Committees that participated in the hearing today will collect all the information provided by the State Auditor, the State Athletic Commission, the Department of Consumer Affairs and members of the public and will begin drafting a bill to address the short-and long-term issues with the California State Athletic Commission.

Luis Alejo represents the 30th District in the California State Assembly, which consists of the Salinas Valley, Monterey County, San Benito County, South Santa Clara County and the city of Watsonville in Santa Cruz County.

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