The CyberBoxingZone News

Rascals Skate - Commission Blamed

Katherine Dunn

Rascals Skate--Commission Blamed
(In which the district attorney explains why a drug test forger goes
blithely on to an unshadowed future of petty skulduggery)

     A forged and phony drug screen report and the magic of the FAX machine were the tools that let boxer Awel Abdulai box on a club show at the Roseland Theater in Portland, OR last Feb. 19. The fakery wasn't discovered until two weeks after the event when reporter Mac Montandon of Willamette Week Newspaper stumbled on the real drug report which showed Abdullai testing positive for marijuana.

    In the wake of Montandon's discovery both CBZ and Willamette Week reported that the Roseland show had other problems as well. The actual promoter, music impresario David Leiken, was not licensed to promote boxing as required by state law. The actual matchmaker, Dan Stenado, was not licensed. The manager and cornerman of Abdulai was not licensed. One boxer's contract was not enforced. Deadlines had been waived by the Oregon Boxing and Wrestling Commission's Executive Director, Jim Cassidy, allowing a last minute paperwork frenzy in which the phony drug test was accepted without question by Cassidy.

    A criminal investigation into the falsification of the drug report was launched by Cassidy's supervisor, Captain Robert Miller. The investigator, Sergeant Burdick of OSP Gaming Enforcement, turned his findings over to the Multnomah County District Attorney's office in June. The person named as a suspect in the forgery of the drug report was Portland booker, Howard Tanzman. Tanzman had been named by several people involved in the show as the likely scissor artist who attached Abdulai's name to another boxer's clean drug test, and faxed it the the Commission office.

   On Thursday, July 13, the D.A. decided it is impossible to prove a case against Tanzman beyond a reasonable doubt. The case was reviewed by Assistant District Attorney Rodney Hopkinson. In his notes explaining why the case could not be prosecuted, Hopkinson points straight at the failings of the Oregon State Police Boxing and Wrestling Commission.

   This is A.D.A. Hopkinson's written explanation of the Multnomah County decision not to prosecute this case. In this document "Def" refers to Howard Tanzman.

      "Case could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. While Def is the most likely suspect, based on the information available, it could not be proved that Def personally made or uttered the forged urine analysis report. No one to testify they saw Def do either. The hotel clerk was not able to ID Def and even the hotel clerk says at least two people were present when the faxes came in. Which one, if either, then forged the UA [urine analysis] report? Or did they both forge it? Or did they give the faxes to someone else who did forge it?

      "What is clear is that there were many people who would benefit and profit by forging the report (including the questioned boxer Abdulai, who is tentatively I.D'd  as one of the persons who was present when the faxes arrived).  The irony of this case is that we could not establish that Def himself was to profit from the forgery, yet those who the state would need to call as witnesses  did in fact profit from the forgery and the fight taking place.

       "Furthermore, case is complicated by the fact that virtually everyone involved is unlicensed and quite possibly in violation of ORS 463.995 (Class A Misdemeanor). Even if the case was issued, it would require the state to call witnesses who by their own testimony would incriminate themselves. Most likely, these witnesses, on advice of council, would choose not to testify.

        "The unlicensed status of those involved presents other problems. The Oregon State Boxing Commission  is a designated criminal justice agency. ORS 463. 200. The Commission has the authority to conduct investigations, issue subpoenas to compel attendance of witnesses, fine parties, and also suspend licenses. ORS 463.185. While the Commission is in the best position to investigate and make findings regarding this case (and to prevent these frauds from taking place), its failure to deal only with those properly licensed  means it lacks authority and jurisdiction over those parties. The Commission has no authority over those it does not license.

        "Even though we can't prove that Def was the one who actually "made" the forged report, I did review the case to see if we could prove he "uttered" it and whether we could establish that he was the one who faxed the report to the Commission, thus allowing the fight to take place. We could not. Apparently the Commission opted to accept a blindly sent UA report without knowledge of who sent it or whether it was being sent by a licensed participant. Cassidy said he "Believed" the fraudulent UA report had been faxed to him by the Vegas lab. It wasn't and we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt who, out of the many people with a vested interest that the fight take place, sent (Uttered) the report.


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