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California State Athletic Commission censures its executive officer

The California State Athletic Commission has voted to censure its executive officer, George Dodd, as officials warn that the agency is insolvent because of excessive spending.

The commission took the disciplinary action during a closed session and said afterward in a statement that it was censuring Dodd ``for not adequately informing the Commission about the insolvency of the Athletic Commission fund.''

At the same meeting Tuesday, the panel received a report from the budget officer for the Department of Consumer Affairs warning of dire circumstances for the agency, which regulates boxing and martial arts activities in the state, unless there is a reorganization.

"The California State Athletic Commission's fund is currently insolvent and cannot reach solvency with its current operating structure," Taylor Schick wrote in a memo to state officials.

The commission is supposed to be financially self-supporting, generating its own revenue in part through the licensing of participants in the boxing industry.

"To maintain solvency, the Commission must keep its fund balance positive," Schick wrote. "In other words, it must spend less money than it collects in revenue. This has not historically happened."

He said the commission started this fiscal year with a reserve but this month will end the year $35,000 in the hole; the deficit is expected to reach $700,000 next year.

"A fund simply cannot go into a negative balance," Schick wrote. "That is the equivalent of an individual writing a check when there is no money in their checking account and no money forthcoming."

Last month, Dodd had been put on notice by the head of the Department of Consumer Affairs, who wrote to him: "You are not only expressly forbidden from making any expenditures in excess of the Commission's appropriations but are personally liable for any debt in excess of the appropriation."

The commission signaled that it had considered removing Dodd. Its agenda included an item titled "Process for Selection of New Executive Officer," but said that matter would only be taken up "if necessary."

The action was taken a day after Gov. Jerry Brown appointed former legislative aide Dean Grafilo to the commission.

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Fracking moratorium advances in California Legislature 

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

 
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