New York Governor seeks to cut Athletic Commission Chair’s $100K salary
The New York state athletic commission chairman earns a $101,600 annual salary, and although the legalized sport of mixed martial arts is fairly new there, Governor Andrew Cuomo is seeking to reduce that figure.
The news comes from a report provided today by the New York Daily News.
“Cuomo made the proposal in his 2017-18 spending plan unveiled last week.
Though the move — and the fact it was tucked into the transportation portion of the budget proposal — raised some eyebrows, Cuomo budget spokesman Morris Peters defended the move.
Peters argued that most state boards are unpaid policy-making bodies.
The Athletic Commission, which is part of the state Department of State, oversees boxing and mixed martial arts in the state.
‘The Athletic Commission has an executive director to run the day-to-day operations,’ Peters said. ‘Removing the requirement that the chairperson be paid allows flexibility in the compensation structure, ensuring that existing state resources are utilized most efficiently in the operation of the commission.’
The move comes after a scathing report by state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott in July into the commission, which began after heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov suffered brain damage in a fight with Mike Perez at Madison Square Garden.
The report found “critical practices, policies and procedures were either nonexistent or deficient; a lack of appropriate oversight by commissioners; and conflicts of interest involving the Commission’s top executives and staff.”
Among the findings was that now former Athletic Commission Chairwoman Melvina Lathan and staff had received improper gifts from promoters, including wine and jewelry. She resigned in the wake of the probe.
Lathan’s replacement, Thomas Hoover, was said to have permitted friends and relative to obtain credentials that allowed them to attend boxing matches for free and recommended an unqualified personal friend for a commission job.
He ultimately paid a $2,000 ethics fine and left the job in the second half of 2016.
Commission member Ndidi Massayhas served as interim chairwoman since Hoover’s departure.”