Embattled head of CSAC steps down

Updated: July 18, 2012, 11:18 PM ET
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

George Dodd, executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission, resigned Monday, three weeks after the regulatory body charged with overseeing boxing and mixed martial arts in the state censured him for failing to adequately inform commissioners of the board's insolvency.

Dodd's tenure as head of the busiest combat sports jurisdiction in the U.S., which began in February 2010, will come to a close July 31. A successor has not been named.

Using revenue generated primarily through the licensing of fights, CSAC's fund is mandated to be self-supporting. However, the commission's fiscal year that closed last month missed budget projections by $35,000. It faces a potential deficit of $700,000 by 2013, according to budget analysts from the state's Department of Consumer Affairs.

Speaking during the June 26 hearing at which he was censured, Dodd claimed his budget projections were off by $600,000 for several reasons. In 2011, the state licensed 12 events that generated revenue in excess of $25,000. That number fell to seven this fiscal year, due in part to declining revenues from Strikeforce after it was purchased by Zuffa. Dodd also blamed a difficult business climate in the state, including a 7 percent tax on events, for the decline, as well as the use of funds to pay commission debts (including one dating back to 1992) rather than compensate inspectors.

Though Dodd did not properly inform the commission, prior to being censured he met with staff from the Department of Consumer Affairs 18 times to address the situation.

After unanimously voting to reprimand Dodd and limit his financial duties, commission chairman John Frierson and co-chair Eugene Hernandez were granted new oversight of the executive officer and the board's money matters.

Turmoil continued when commissioner Linda Forster resigned the following day, citing recent actions taken by CSAC regarding the insolvency crisis for her decision.

On June 29, Department of Consumer Affairs director Denise Brown ordered a full audit of the athletic commission.

Prior to serving as CSAC executive officer, Dodd was programming director for Washington state's Department of Licensing's Professional Athletics Division.