State Investigating CSAC; Chairman Resigns

By Greg Savage Sep 25, 2009
Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), president pro tempore of California’s state Senate, announced Thursday that he would not allow confirmation votes for California State Athletic Commission members Timothy Noonan and Peter Lopez to proceed, thus ending their tenure by the end of the year.

The news comes from the Los Angeles Times, which reported last week that California’s ethics agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission, had opened an investigation regarding CSAC members using their positions to secure free admission for family and friends to events they were entrusted to regulate.

Following Steinberg’s announcement Thursday, the Times reported that Noonan, the chairman of the CSAC, resigned. In his resignation letter, Noonan cited a decision by Brian Stigar, the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs chief, to reject the commission’s choice for the vacant executive director position. The commission had recommended that veteran referee Pat Russell take the spot abandoned by Armando Garcia, who resigned under charges of sexual harassment in November of last year.

Stigar, responding to Noonan by letter, praised Russell but stated that due to the commission’s history of problems, he felt the group “vitally needs an executive officer with a proven and demonstrated ability to effectively manage a complex government program.”

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had appointed both Noonan and Lopez to four-year terms earlier this year.

Steinberg is quoted in the Times article stating that he hopes Schwarzenegger “looks for new members whose priority is protecting the health and safety of the athletes they regulate rather than arranging for free admission to boxing and [mixed martial arts] events.”
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