The CyberBoxingZone News

Scandal Investigation Buried?
Katherine Dunn
   Don't expect to see any heads rolling at the Oregon State Police over the recent Boxing & Wrestling Commission scandals. When last heard from, the Oregon State Police promised to investigate complaints that the Oregon State Boxing and Wrestling Commission had gone goofy in the hands of a new, in-experienced Executive Director. Now the guy who supervised the Executive Director during all the foolery is the new boss of the department that's supposed to be doing the big investigation.

  A lot of boxing commissions are part of other government departments--In Texas it's the Department of Labor, for example, and in Washington it's the Department of Licensing. The Oregon Boxing & Wrestling commission has been a division of the Oregon State Police since 1993.  Technically all licenses are issued in the name of the Superintendent of State Police. Although the Commission was originally part of OSP's Criminal Investigation Division, a few years back it was moved into the Gaming Enforcement Division which deals with the state lottery, video-poker and Indian Casinos. The Commission consists of five volunteer advisors who have no real authority and are appointed by the Superintendent of State Police. The staff is one paid civilian, the Executive Director, who does all the actual work and is answerable to the State Police chain of command.
       In the wake of a February 19 show at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon, came revelations that somebody foisted a phony drug test on the Executive Director, Jim Cassidy, allowing a boxer who actually tested positive for an illegal substance to fight on the card. Other irregularities with that small club show, as reported by CBZ, included a fighters' contract not being enforced, an unlicensed cornerman, and neither the real promoter nor the real matchmaker of the show were licensed by the state.  Director Cassidy allowed these unlicensed characters to operate, and busted his butt to help them.

       The Roseland fiasco prompted a licensed Oregon boxing judge to file a formal complaint with the Governor, the Attorney General and the Superintendent of State Police listing dozens of violations of both state and federal boxing laws either permitted or committed by the Executive Director during six shows  since Jim Cassidy was hired in 1999. The complaints ranged from false advertising to allowing boxers to fight while they were on the national suspension list. In fact, three suspended boxers appeared on a single Oregon card.

    The complaint filed in March by Portland real estate broker and boxing judge Denis Ryan, named both Cassidy and his immediate boss, Captain Robert Miller of OSP, as responsible for the errors.  Miller, the commander of the Gaming Enforcement Division, hired and trained Cassidy and supervised his work.

     CBZ reported these events, and the May 3 issue of Willamette Week newspaper, a powerful weekly in Portland, OR, ran a lengthy cover story by writer Mac Montandon, describing the problems and complaints. The headline read, "On The Ropes; After 15 years in a coma, boxing is back in Oregon and as dirty as ever."

     Captain Miller ordered one of his Gaming Enforcement investigators, Sergeant Burdick, to conduct a criminal investigation of the falsified drug report at the Roseland Theater show.  Sgt. Burdick has turned his findings over to the Multnomah Co.  District Attorney for review. 

    Meanwhile, the Superintendent of State Police ordered the Professional Standards division, which looks into allegations against OSP staff members,  to investigate the complaints against Cassidy and Miller.

     On Thursday, June 29, the OSP public information officer, Lieutenant Greg Hastings returned a phone call from CBZ. Hastings said that in a recent organizational shuffle the Boxing & Wrestling Commission and Indian Gaming Enforcement have been moved out of the Lottery Division and are, once again, under the supervision of the Criminal Investigation division commanded by Captain Ed Mauery.

    This seems appropriate and even hopeful.  Investigative techniques are needed for researching license applications and records, and during past years when the Commission was under the Criminal Division it had a national reputation for strict enforcement and leading edge safety measures.

    Lieutenant Hastings had other news that was a little bewildering. Captain Robert Miller is now the Director of Professional Standards. Hastings confirmed that is the department investigating the complaints against Captain Miller and Commission Executive Director Cassidy. Hastings said there may be somebody else supervising that investigation since Miller was named in the complaint.
CBZ replied that it would be difficult for officers to investigate a complaint that named their boss. Lieutenant Hastings agreed. "We wouldn't do that," he said. "That would be wrong." He promised to check on the arrangement and call back.
True to his word, Lt. Hastings phoned again the following day. He said an inspector has been assigned to investigate the boxing complaints, and Captain Miller will review the findings. The findings on any complaints dealing with Captain Miller will not be reviewed by Miller, but by his commander, Major Greg Willeford.

CBZ has a copy of the complaint, and about half of the 26 alleged violations list Captain Miller as well as Director Cassidy. CBZ can confirm that Miller attended virtually every Commission meeting, weigh-in and boxing show during the year in question. Miller was not exactly a distant, hands-off supervisor. Considering the ancient problem of conflict of interest, CBZ asked Lt. Hastings the same question we'd raised the day before. "Don't you think it would be hard for an officer to investigate a complaint in which one of the named subjects is his boss?"

   "I don't think so," answered Hastings. And he said goodbye.

So...Call us cynical but we aren't looking for the Dudley Do-Rights to jump all spraddled out on their in-house dingbats any time soon

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