* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * AFFIDAVIT
RONALD G. LIPTON, * * * * ROUGH COPY
NEW YORK STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION,
RON SCOTT STEVENS, HUGO SPINDOLA, JEROME BECKER,
RONALD G. LIPTON being duly sworn, depose and say:
1.* * * * I am a professional boxing referee who has been involved in boxing most of my life as a former three time amateur boxing champion, sparring partner of many great boxing champions like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and many other champions and contenders. I am mentioned as such in Hurricane Carter’s Book “The Sixteenth Round” , and in the upcoming book, “Dick Tiger, The Life and Times of a Boxing Immortal,” about the former undisputed middleweight and light heavyweight champion of the world as his sparring partner who helped him prepare for a world title fight.
2.* * * * I was a licensed professional boxing referee with the NYSAC from 1990 until 1997, licensed each and every year with each application, while also licensed in NJ, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Missouri. In addition, I was licensed in Vermont up until July 31, 2004. I refereed the main event at a professional boxing show in Rutland Vermont in 2002. I have refereed championship boxing matches in Ireland and Italy and have refereed World title fights in most all the major weight classes in professional boxing on HBO, Pay per view, ESPN, USA and MSG channels, and have refereed main events at Madison Square Garden.
3.* * * * I am a winner of the 2002 Lifetime Civil Rights Achievement Award presented to me in Poughkeepsie NY which was televised and have won the Black Prestige Community Service Award for my service to Boxing. I am presently employed as a teacher of a credited boxing course in physical education at Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY where I have taught for the last 3 years. I am also a retired police officer who worked as an Investigator for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in NJ and various NY and NJ police departments and am credited as the police officer who freed Rubin Hurricane Carter by Carter himself in a National televised interview on Newsport Talk on March 25, 1997.
4.* * * * In addition to the above, I am a published boxing historian and boxing writer in Ring Magazine, Boxing Illustrated, World Boxing, International Boxing, Ulster Magazine and Cyberboxingzone and was a member of the Boxing Writer’s Association of America. I have received an on screen credit as the “Senior Boxing Consultant” for the film “Muhammad Ali, the Whole Story,” which was aired on the TNT network and is available in video stores in 6 one hour tapes. I am also a boxing choreographer whose work was publicized in all the NY papers as winning the choreography award for the New York Play, “Ali,” in 1992.
5.* * * * I had been asked for in 1995 by Mel Crystal, the then Chairman of the Irish Boxing Commission as the most honest American referee who they wanted to officiate the World Super middleweight Championship between Middleweight Champion Steve Collins and the English Champion Chris Eubank on March 15, 1995, which was held in Millstreet Ireland and televised to all of Europe and the Orient on Sky TV. I refereed the fight despite attempts to fix the fight, by outside sources in an attempt to coerce the officials. I reported this misconduct immediately and testified as such in High Court in Dublin Ireland in 1997 in a subsequent case. Steven Collins the champion has supplied the NYSAC with a letter of recommendation as to my abilities as a referee and as an honest official who stood up to corruption.
6.* * * * I had been chosen in May 1995 to referee the Pay Per View Event of the long awaited return of Evander Holyfield to the ring. It was billed as “The Return of the Warrior” and held in Atlantic City NJ on Pay Per View TV. The bout with Evander Holyfield V Ray Mercer the former Olympic Heavyweight Gold medal winner was refereed by me. I also was the referee for the Main Event of a Triple Header in Madison Square Garden in 1996 in which Holyfield fought Bobby Czyz on HBO and I not only officiated the main event but prevented a scandal by my decisive and professional handling of the in-the-ring action.
7.* * * * I have refereed the Super Middleweight Championship fight on HBO in Madison Square Garden with Roy Jones Jr. V Bryant Brannon, which is shown in the Al Pacino movie,. “The Devil’s Advocate,” and the Mel Gibson movie, “Payback.”
8.* * * * I was chosen by Floyd Patterson himself to referee the return of boxing to New York City after an almost 3 year absence. I refereed the Oscar DeLahoya v James Leija Lightweight Championship of the World on HBO that was billed as the “Return to the Mecca,” and held in Madison Square Garden before a sellout crowd.
9.* * * * I have boxes of video tapes where my work and performance as a referee is complimented continuously by the TV color commentators such as Al Bernstein, HBO’s Harold Ledderman, Dave Bontempo and Brian Kenny the host of ESPN boxing who is seen constantly on ESPN network and pay per view events. As recent as May of this year, Brian Kenny mentioned me on the air as one of the top professional boxing referees in the world.
10.* * * * I will be appearing in an upcoming documentary as a top referee and boxing expert giving background analysis on the life of former heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock, for the upcoming movie, entitled “Cinderella Man,” starring Russel Crowe. The documentary is scheduled to be aired on the A& E network in the coming year.
11.* * * * In November 2003 the HBO famous boxing Judge Harold Ledderman, contacted the Chairman of the NYSAC Ron Scott Stevens and told him I was the best referee in NY state and one of the finest in the business and that I should be licensed. Hugo Spindola acknowledged to me he was aware of these calls and claims he was present when they took place.
12.* * * * I have refereed the IBC Heavyweight championship between Tommy “The Duke” Morrison and Razor Ruddock, who twice fought Mike Tyson. It was held on pay per view where I also refereed Roberto Duran the former 6 division champion of the world. The fight was held in Kansas City, Missouri.
13.* * * * I have refereed many other exciting professional boxing matches involving the best athletes in the sport and have done title fights and bouts involving top contenders and champions in Ledyard Connecticut at Foxwoods Casinos. One title fight there was a live national telecast on channel 5 between Yori Boy Campos and Randy Stephens for the IBF Junior Middleweight Title. I refereed the Tracy Patterson V Hector Acero Sanchez for the WBC Junior Featherweight Championship of the World on ESPN in Atlantic City, also the NABF Light Heavyweight Championship between Merqui Sosa and Prince Charles Williams which resulted in a record setting double TKO. This was televised live where both boxers health was saved by my performance as the referee and my performance was continuously complimented on the air by the boxing experts at ringside.
14.* * * * I have refereed the Super Bantam weight title fight in Calgari Italy between Harold Grey and Vicenzo Belcastro and the Welterweight Championship of the World between Eamon Loughran and Allesandro Duran in Belfast Ireland. In each place I referee I have newspaper articles and films of the fights in which the boxing writers and commentators say I did a great job. I have refereed the WBC World Welterweight Championship fight between Pernell Whitiker voted the pound per pound greatest fighter of that time and Gary Jacobs of Scotland live on HBO.
15.* * * * In various conversations with famous HBO Boxing Judge Harold Ledderman it was revealed to me that Mr. Ledderman spoke to Ron Scott Stevens on November 3rd, 2003 and November 10, 2003 on my behalf but to no avail in trying to get some justice for me and fair play to have my license renewed after years of blackballing and harassment by the NYSAC. In the summer of 2004 at a fight card held in Middletown NY, Mr. Ledderman told me in person that they have “So many letters of reference, so much boxing background on me, they do not even care how good a job you do, don’t even send them any more, it doesn’t help, just be polite to Ron Scott Stevens and everything should be okay.”
16.* * * * In those conversations in November of 2003, Mr. Ledderman also told them that the referees they are using are not as good as me and it is public knowledge that they have caused ring deaths and injuries, yet the commission uses them again based on political and personal friendships rather than ability.
17. I pointed out to Mr. Ledderman that it was inexplicable that Chairman Stevens could justify using his close friend Arthur Mercante Junior in main events at Madison Square Garden and elsewhere when he had not only caused the death of fighter Beathoven Scotland in the ring against George Jones in Manhattan in June of 2001, and was written up by various boxing writers as being responsible for the fighter being killed, by letting him take a vicious head beating throughout the fight culminating in many solid and unanswered punches in the ring in that fight until he collapsed and died.
It was during this live telecast on ESPN that the commentators like Max Kellerman were screaming for the fight to be stopped and the follow up news coverage of the death laid much of the blame on Mercante Junior’s negligence, yet he is continually forgiven and used in NY State by Ron Scott Stevens.
He was often used as a referee by Ron Scott Stevens despite additionally having caused other fighters to be injured in televised bouts of which we have the films. Mercante Junior was voted the 5th worst referee in the world by Ring magazine yet is still not only licensed but used in main events and title fights in NY State because of his father’s political connections and Mercante Jr’s friendship with Chairman Ron Scott Stevens and a former NY Commissioner, Randy Gordon.
18.* * * * Furthermore I had written the NYSAC that Mercante Junior had also been vilified by the entire boxing community as being an inept and dangerous referee who had almost literally caused another ring death through his negligence in the Pernell Whitiker V Huertado fight televised live on HBO. The HBO commentators like Larry Merchant and Jim Lamply said it was the worst referee performance since Emile Griffith killed Benny Kid Paret in 1962, yet Mercante Junior was allowed to be licensed and used in fights again and again until he allowed Scotland to be killed in the ring resulting in a tremendous public outcry and lawsuit.
Some of the fights he was allowed to referee despite his continuous inept performances were the main event involving Lennox Lewis V Michael Grant televised live on HBO in which Lennox Lewis was permitted to violate the NYSAC rules of holding and hitting when he held Michael Grant with one hand and knocked him out while flagrantly violating the rules without being penalized by Mercante Junior.
The NYSAC was made aware of the film that existed on the Whitiker V Huertado fight and the Charles Murray V Reggie Green fight in which Mercante junior let Reggie Green be knocked down several times without coming to the fighter’s aid with an 8 count. The negligence shown is beyond belief yet because of political considerations Mercante junior is still used by the present NYSAC despite him causing a ring death. He was used in a title fight in MSG in May of 2005 and many more times before by Ron Scott Stevens’ appointments.
19.* * * * I have consistently been punished by the withholding of my referee license for telling the truth about the rampant corruption and use of the worst officials which have placed fighter’s lives in jeopardy.
20.* * * * On July 28, 2004 in Middletown NY I spoke with Hugo Spindola in person at the fight card held there and asked him if I could apply again for my referee license. He told me yes and that the main problem was that they did not want me ever speaking out against the Commission to the press again. I told him I would not and I just wanted my license back and have been respectful and polite in all my correspondence to the NYSAC.
21.* * * * I called him the next day July 29, 2004 and told him I would be obtaining my medicals which is a great expense and the EKG the commission requires. He said to wait until Aug 31, 2004 and then get the medicals done and send in $50 once again. I did so and had my attorney send in the fee and mail my application. The Commission waited until October 7, 2004, six days before the mandated seminar to tell me in the “Interests of Boxing I am denied.”
22.* * * * I have been active with former Heavyweight Canadian Champion George Chuvalo in his anti-drug program in arranging personal appearances and lectures with George Chuvalo where we have both appeared on television and in the newspapers as helping the youth of our country fight drug abuse. I have provided all my updated community service background to the NYSAC.
23.* * * * Despite all of this and my lifelong work in professional boxing the various members of the NYSAC have seen fit to prevent me from working the main events and now being licensed at all in the most illegal and nefarious way imaginable to punish me for speaking out against their biased conduct which has endangered fighter’s lives and has been exposed in the press and Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
24. These same Commission members Jerome Becker, Marc Cornstein, and former Commission Executive Director Tony Russo, whose friends are still at the Commission had been previously exposed by Pulitzer prize winning author Jack Newfeld and former NY Post columnist Wally Matthews in a three part expose in the NY Post, as being totally inept, crooked and biased political appointees who have ruined boxing in NY State and they themselves have no knowledge of professional boxing. These people and their friends are still actively responsible for blackballing me and have participated in preventing me from getting a license from 1998- 2004 and attending this year’s referee seminar.
25. I have been denied a renewal of my professional boxing referee license by the above individuals who are presently in control of the New York State Athletic Commission. Despite my above referenced credentials, the refusal is couched in a phrase by Hugo Spindola that “For the Good of Boxing” I am denied my license application in its entirety. It is my contention that under the color of law the above Commission has acted without any accountability as a State Agency while in the control of the above persons and has denied my license for the most nefarious of reasons which I am prepared to expose in a court of law holding the Commission and each member responsible for their actions and damages caused me with such a preponderance of irrefutable evidence that any jury would be hard pressed to ignore it.
26. The Commission had held a referee seminar on October 13, 2004. Attendance was mandated yearly by the commission for any referee wanting to be actively assigned to officiate at professional boxing matches held for the remainder of 2004 and 2005.
27. My application was submitted in timely fashion with the most respectfully submitted letters and was denied at the 11th hour in a letter dated October 7, 2004 signed by Hugo Spindola. Mr. Spindola spoke to my attorney Mike DeLisa on October 7, 2004 and gave him no indication whatsoever that I would be denied a license and Hugo Spindola was told that we would both be attending the seminar. I then received the NYSAC letter at my Hyde Park NY address on Saturday October 9, 2004.
28. *******My application was previously denied last year by the Chairman Ron Scott Stevens telling me in a phone conversation on November 23, 2003 that the “Only reason my application was denied was because we have too many guys, and that is my decision alone, no one else was asked.”
29. The way this suspicious decision was arrived at and rendered unto me impacts on the credibility of that decision in 2003 and the fraudulence of the decision in 2004, couched in every conceivable violation of my rights. Nothing has occurred from 2003-2004 that would necessitate the change from “We have too many guys,” to the fraudulent claim, “For the good of boxing.”
30. As soon as this was stated to me, I called the Commission Attorney Hugo Spindola on November 24, 2003 who stated to me, that Ron Scott Stevens asked the other Commissioners, Jerome Becker and Marc Cornstein if they “Wanted” me back. Furthermore I was told that others at the Commission were asked and they did not want me to be given my license renewal.
31. He was told this information was in direct conflict to what the Chairman just told me as it being his own decision with no one else being involved. When Spindola was told by me the Chairman Ron Scott Stevens is on record telling me my license was ONLY denied because he had too many referees, as opposed to what the Commission Attorney was saying to me, Spindola became tongue tied and stated he would instruct Ron Scott Stevens not to speak to me again and that he the Commission attorney would only do the talking.
32. Spindola setting a precedent never heard of, had in essence taken over the role of Executive Director of the Commisson and was seen in Middletown New York at the Orange County Fairgrounds in May 2004, taking over the role of Inspector, Executive Director and basically running the NYSAC overruling the Chairman’s position while acting as the Commission attorney. Spindola’s friendship with Ralph Petrillo, who was made Director of Boxing as a political reward, was upgraded to that position from being in charge of collecting and processing urine samples from the fighter’s for drug testing.
33. Neither Spindola or Petrillo has any background in professional boxing and maintain on the Commission the very friends of Russo the fired former Executive Director, who was convicted of a Federal kidnapping in the Armand Hammer case, and supposedly served jail time. This can be confirmed by any record check to see if the NYSAC permitted his hiring knowing he was a convicted felon.
34. It is beyond belief if this is confirmed that his hiring was permitted yet he was still hired and appointed as the NYSAC’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, are his friends and close associates still employed there are still instrumental in denying me a license for telling the truth about their scandals, fighter injuries and ring deaths as Ron Scott Stevens, the present chairman is taking direction from these people as the evidence will show in a jury trial.
35. In 2003 after being told my license was to be denied I then asked for a hearing which was granted by the Commission attorney. He was told witnesses would be brought in to testify for me including boxing champions and evidence shown on film that they were using the most inept and unprofessional referees and that my record was better in the ring. Furthermore that former Commission members had harassed me for speaking out about the various scandals and finally that their use of their friends like Arthur Mercante Junior resulted in a ring death which I predicted in writing years before.
36. Furthermore I had written the Commission in 1997 telling them that I was told I would be blackballed for speaking out against the corruption in their choice of ring officials which involved their former Executive Director Tony Russo, whose friends as stated above are still active in the present Commission. The evidence which we have and are prepared to present in a court of law shows that once Russo’s conduct complete with taped recordings was given to the Manhattan D.A.’s office and made public, I was threatened by Russo that his friends would see to it that I would never referee again in NY and NJ.
37. I also have evidence from the Chairman of the NJSACB, who had called my home prior to me refereeing the Roy Jones Jr V Bryant Brannon fight I refereed on HBO in 1997, telling me that the NYSAC was not going to use me anymore and that NJ would have to cooperate with NY. The officials for the fights in NY would be chosen more by friendship based on political contribution not ability. This alone precludes them from saying because of a sole misdemeanor conviction in a self-defense case against 3 men, I am denied a license because the tapes show I was to be blackballed before any false charges. The only other conviction is for a non crime a violation for yelling at a former girlfriend of 8 years, in my own home who was schooled to filed false charges in a domestic case, by friends of Russo. All charges were dismissed and resulted in my winning of two lawsuits. A violation is not a crime in NY or anywhere else. In both cases the friends of Russo were heavily involved. Russo used to be in charge of the Newburgh Mall Security and knew both female officers who were involved in creating both cases and contacting the Commission.
38. Police friends and associates of Russo’s orchestrated three false separate cases in which all charges were dismissed (See Attorney Smith letter), except one self-defense charge of simple misdemeanor assault which was the result of one punch thrown in self defense by me against 3 younger men who hunted me down and attacked me because of a legal dispute with their friend. They went out socially with a Commission member Even a police officer can keep his job in NY State convicted of any misdemeanor, let alone a self defense situation.
39. That friend was a close associate of Mike Fayo an inspector with the NYSAC. The Judge Tim Tamsen who presided over this falsely obtained misdemeanor conviction was disbarred for theft and dishonesty and lost his law license for life, after I grieved him with the Ethics Committee for his conduct during the self defense case. He deliberately did not preserve the stenographic record for appeal. The Judge was seen by investigative reporters often in the company of the NYSAC’s director of Boxing, Ralph Petrillo, Russo’s close friend. Petrillo owns a restaurant near where I used to live and the former Town of Newburgh local court Judge Tim Tamsen who was disbarred and kicked off the bench was seen in his kitchen helping him cook.
My own lawyer during this case was found guilty of professional misconduct so tainted was the sole misdemeanor conviction obtained through the collective machinations behind the scene which Tamsen allowed.
40. Gerald Stern the head of the Judicial Conduct commission acknowledged to me they had many complaints of misconduct against Tim Tamsen, and my file against him regarding the handling of my case impacted on their view of him as a jurist. The behind the scenes query of “Other” Commission member as to whether I “should be” licensed again is diabolical in it’s reasoning as it has nothing to do with my character, performance or anything but harassment, FOR FILING GRIEVANCES AGAINST THE DIRECTOR OF BOXING, RALPH PETRILLO’S FRIEND, TIM TAMSEN, THE EXPOSE OF ART MERCANT JR, FOR HIS IN THE RING NEGLIGENCE RESULTING IN INJURIES AND DEATH OF FIGHTERS.
41. FURTHERMORE, RON SCOTT STEVEN’S FRIEND THE FORMER COMMISSIONER RANDY GORDON’S CONSTANT USE OF MERCANTE JR, IN MAIN EVENTS IS CONTINUED BY STEVENS AND THE REVENGE UTILIZED BY THEM IN DENYING ME A LICENSE FOR TELLING THE TRUTH IS ILLEGAL, AND IS BEING DONE UNDER THE COLOR OF LAW.
42. ADDITIONALLY THE CONNECTION TO THE FIRED TONY RUSSO IS EVIDENT AND BEING USED TO DENY ME A LICENSE. THE POLITICAL DONATIONS MADE BY THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE, CORNSTEIN, BECKER ET AL WAS EXPOSED IN THE NY POST. THESE PEOPLE ARE PLAYING GAMES WITH THE LIVES OF FIGHTERS AND ARE USING THE WORST OFFICIALS WHILE DENYING ME A LICENSE.
43. WE ASK THE COURT FOR THE CHANCE TO SHOW THE FILMS OF THE REFEREES BEING USED, THEIR PHYSICAL CONDITION, THEIR BACKGROUND, AND THE HISTORY OF ART MERCANTE JUNIOR AND THE EXPOSES DONE ON JEROME BECKER, MARC CORNSTEIN, AND THE CONFLICT OF INTERESTS WHICH EXISTS WITH THE PROMOTIONAL BACKGROUND OF RON SCOTT STEVENS WHICH PREVENTS ANY FAIR JOB EVER BEING POSSIBLY DONE WITH HIS CONNECTION TO OTHER PROMOTERS WHILE CHOOSING REFEREES BASED ON POLITICS, WHICH WE ARE PREPARED TO PROVE IN COURT.
44. The former Deputy Commissioner Mike Pascale, Russo’s lifelong friend and companion can be seen sitting next to Ron Scott Stevens on 12/16/03, in a special reserved section for officials only, in Madison Square Garden during the Vladamir Klitchco V Kirk Johnson fight, also on November 13, 2004 working the John Ruiz V Andrew Golota fight in MSG.
45. *******DESPITE Stevens telling me that Russo’s friends were all gone from the Commission. It is clearly evident that my license denial in 2003 was not because “They had too many referees”, some of which were appointed after the commission refused to answer my numerous letters from 1998-2003 to get my license back.
46. It cannot be for the fact that I have but one misdemeanor conviction for self defense in which the appeal is still pending, as police officers in New York State are allowed not only to keep their jobs and pistol permits with ANY misdemeanor conviction.
47. Nor can the reason be that I have but one “Violation” offense for yelling in protest at anti-Semitic phone calls coming into my home, in which police friends of Russo and Petrillo had placed vicious anti-Semitic literature into my mailbox at my former home in Newburgh NY, which was promptly reported by me to the Department of Justice. The false charges their friends help orchestrate against me by a former girlfriend were DISMISSED!
48. The threat to blackball me as a referee in NY State which is binding on other commissions based on NY’s action, was reported to attorneys and the press prior to any false charges being filed against me and this evidence will be presented in a court of law.
49. I had received a call from the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board Chairman Larry Hazzard on my answering machine which is a matter of record, stating that after I reported the NYSAC’s refusal to take action on the various illegal appointing of officials, “They weren’t going to use me anymore after I refereed the Roy Jones Jr V Brant Brannon fight,” this all being PRIOR to any false charges of ANY kind filed against me. Furthermore I was told by the NJSACB Chairman Larry Hazzard, that “NY was my home base and I could not even have my NJ license back because NY would not use me”, as both commissions let their referees officiate for the other in a symbiotic relationship. Therefore if NY blackballs you, NJ will then follow suit. This is evidenced by the use of the NJ referees in NY on Nov 13, 2004 in MSG.
50. The continuation of this harassment at the hands of Ron Scott Stevens whose position as Chairman is and will always be questioned by the press as a conflict of interests as Stevens is a boxing promoter and has strong ties and friendships to other promoters. This is consistent with his ties to former administration members whose conduct in using Arthur Mercante Jr. and other referees whose performances ruined not only fighter’s health but their lives too.
51. The NYSAC use of referees from other states as reciprocal favors, while NY residents like myself are continuously prevented from doing main events or even being licensed is patently unfair, while a NY resident like me is being told on the record, “I am denying you a license because we have too many referees.” The use in main events of NJ resident referees like Steve Smoger, Randy Neuman, Benji Estevez, Mike Ortega and others is a matter of record. Estevez one of the kindest gentleman in boxing is not begrudged any assignment by me, it is just a matter of record and I wish him the best at all times.
52. The use of Neuman and Smoger is highly questionable based on the grossly overweight condition of Neuman and the highly questionable background of Smoger which has been publicized greatly and can be provided in court. Neuman’s recent handling of the John Ruiz V Andrew Golota card, on HBO pay per view November 13, 2004 Saturday was widely criticized as he failed to rule a legitimate knockdown, failed to penalize a fighter for hitting the other on the deck, counted over a fallen fighter who was pushed to the canvas, and constantly broke the fighters prematurely preventing any inside fighting. He appeared in the ring grossly out of shape, at least 80 lbs overweight and could hardly get out of the way of the fighters yet as a NJ referee was used in the main event because of political connections and reciprocal favors as was the other out of State referee Mike Ortega, from Connecticut.
53. The NYSAC instead of giving me my boxing life back and letting me referee, used Ken Zimmer, a nice man, but very inept referee, who was responsible for the mini riot at the Roy Jones Jr V Merqui Sosa fight in which the film of the fight showed clearly the consistent mistakes in judgment made by this referee who has a history of poor performances. They used him in a televised ESPN show in Poughkeepsie, NY in the summer of 2004, bringing him him from upstate NY rather than give me an assignment where I live and teach boxing in Poughkeepsie-Hyde Park NY.
54. The damage to my reputation by this ongoing course of illegal conduct by the NYSAC under the color of law, has caused great anguish, embarrassment and damages to me as a teacher in Poughkeepsie, where in the very place I was awarded a lifetime Civil Rights Achievement Award and where I teach boxing, I have no explanation to give to my students, friends and family why I cannot referee a boxing show where I work and live.
I will actively seek damages for the 7 years I have been blackballed with no legitimate explanation given to me for taking my life’s work away from me under the most nefarious of circumstances and scandals the NYSAC has been involved in.
55. Main events are given to Randy Neuman from NJ, who I respect as a former fighter, but is grossly out of shape by being overweight by 80 pounds and is a friend of Wayne Kelly, Ron Scott Stevens’ personal friend. The films of the referees they have chosen to officiate and their performances are a matter of record.
56. Kelly, another nice man and in my opinion a good referee, is unfortunately hearing impaired and was the referee in the ring during the bribe attempt in the Jesse Fergusen V Ray Mercer fight in which an indictment was handed down. Kelly testified he “Could not hear the bribe offer.” He also was written up in a boxing magazine for giving an 8 count, not to the fallen fighter, but to the fighter who scored the knockdown as Kelly became confused. We all make mistakes and my point is that these referees have made big mistakes but are still being licensed and used in big televised fights.
57. There are always misinformed fans who criticize referees for stopping fights tooearly, and too late and I have always used the films of the fights I have refereed to show the reason which justified my actions, which is always the safety of the fighter.
No fighter has ever been injured severely with me as the referee. I have always kept an open mind and was always willing to help others and pass on my knowledge and take direction from classes attended. The films we have of Mercante Jr and the other referees the Commission uses are beyond belief and are available to show a jury.
58. The blackballing of me and refusal to issue a license is coming from two factions within the NYSAC out of revenge. Chairman Steven’s friendship with former Commissioner Randy Gordon and the constant use of Stevens’ mutual friends not based on ability or performance and the present remnants of the Russo administration who control Stevens. and were fraught with scandals which were publicized and resulted in firings.
59. Ron Scott Stevens lives in Long Island and continually gives the main events to Mercante Junior, and Wayne Kelly from Long Island along with NJ referees like Steve Smoger, Randy Neuman and others whose horrible performances and objectionable backgrounds are available on film. Other referees being given work by the NYSAC have nowhere near my boxing background and some were given a license while mine was being illegally refused from 1998-2004.
60. On November 14, 2003 I faxed Commissioners Jerome Becker and left phone messages to inform him that I wanted them both to see the file I sent to the Commission on my behalf. I did the same to Commissioner Marc Cornstein. Both men were vilified in the NY Post as having no boxing knowledge and obtaining their jobs only through political cash donations. Both Commissioners failed to respond in writing or view the material sent separately to them, or respond in anyway to me before the Commission attorney told anyone not to speak with me.
61. When the Chairman was called by me to ask if they all viewed the tapes of my fights I sent them to evaluate my performances and read my background, Ron Scott Stevens stated to me on the phone on October 23, 2003, that they “Lost my file”, and the package I sent containing my background, fight films, $75 money order, another $50 money order, police certificates, newspaper articles etc,
After receiving it and acknowledging receipt of it on October 15, 2003.
62. On November 17, 2003, I received a letter from Hugo Spindola informing me that he “Made a mistake in telling me I could have a fair hearing.” No hearing was allowed for me to legally plead for my license because, he stated again at the 11th hour that “Only people with a license could have a hearing.” The viciousness of this ploy and the callous ruse it exudes makes a mockery of the NYSAC being a State Agency, as it has taken it’s noble legacy and digressed into a bias social club.
63. The following was also pointed out to Chairman Stevens and Hugo Spindola in writing and in person as well as the other commissioners. That the former Executive Director Tony Russo who was fired from his position and is mentioned extensively in the various scandals at the Commission, notably the falsification of the weigh in for Arturo Gatti versus Joey Gamache fight at Madison Square Garden. Gatti was permitted by Russo as a favor to Gatti’s promoter to weigh in 20 pounds over the agreed weight. Russo faked the weigh in and was caught, yet let the farce proceed. Gamache was almost killed by the heavier fighter and received brain damage and had to retire from boxing and filed a lawsuit V the NYSAC.
64. It is deliberately and illegally orchestrated under the color of law that I not be allowed to attend the mandated seminar so that if I win a court order for my license to be restored, that I be prevented from working in 2005 because I did not attend the seminar.
65. The NYSAC, as it exists now and is classified as such in all the exhibits we are prepared to put into evidence by the press, has digressed into a biased social club for the sole purpose of punishing anyone who exercises their first amendment rights to speak out against the blatant favoritism and corruption therein, which has resulted in fighter’s deaths and massive ring injuries.
66. I have been singled out and denied my license for personal reasons couched in revenge. I had uncovered an unethical attempt to take away my assignment as the referee of the Oscar DeLahoya V Jesse James Leija fight held in December of 1995 as the main event in the HBO telecast. The corner man of Jesse James Leija Richard Giachetti admitted on tape which was provided to the Manhattan District Attorney that this plumb assignment was attempted to be taken away from me by having the friends of Arthur Mercante Jr approach him and the other corner man Lester Bedford to stage a false protest against me as the referee in order to give the assignment to “Mercante’s kid.”(Mercante Jr.)
67. The then Executive Director Howard Albert a lifelong friend of the Mercante’s was fired the following week. Tony Russo was given the tape recordings of this attempt to fix the officials in the most unethical preplanned smear campaign. He refused (also on tape) to do anything about it, while the wife of Floyd Patterson admitted he was making “Deals” for himself. This was also provided on tape to the District Attorney and the then Commission.
68. Russo’s scandals are now a matter of record, but his friends Ralph Petrillo, the present NYSAC Director of Boxing, and Mike Pascale the former Deputy Commissioner who sat next to Ron Scott Stevens as mentioned above in a reserved for officials section, appear to be influential among others for preventing my license renewal. Also, Marc Cornstein and Jerome Becker, both of whom were seen by me personally, are associated closely with Russo. Ron Scott Stevens either has no power in the Commission whatsoever or is according to him responsible for denying me a license in 2003 while stating they have too many guys. Now it is for the “Good of boxing”, while using a State Agency under the color of law to prevent me from continuing as a main event referee.
69. My performance as a referee is documented on film with interviews with boxing hall of fame greats and boxing experts like Angelo Dundee, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Hall of Fame Director Ed Brophy, Harold Ledderman, George Chuvalo, ESPN’s Brian Kenny and Al Bernstein and many others.
70. My character is exemplary as a winner of a lifetime civil rights achievement award, community service awards, a Marist College Teacher, Boxing Awards and the sole misdemeanor conviction is the only one in my entire life, and the very lawyer who represented me during that trial was found guilty of professional misconduct in not representing me properly and failing to bring up the connection between Russo’s friend who participated in tampering with the jury, the judge was disbarred for dishonesty and theft and that is the only conviction in my life, for throwing one punch against three men who attacked me. The connection to NYSAC members in these cases is written in stone, they do not dare to use that reason for the denial of my license, nor have they ever.
71. We ask these people whose background in boxing has been widely criticized as non existent to show cause why my license has been denied “For the good of boxing,” and I have been prevented from working main events and even being licensed while they use people who have killed fighters in the ring through their negligence, referee in grossly out of shape condition, and are political friends of the Chairman.
72. It should be noted that the NYSAC recently licensed NJ resident Steve Smoger, who was vilified in the NJ Star Ledger, and various other papers (Exhibits on request), as having been found guilty of the most heinous judicial misconduct, barred for life from ever becoming a judge again and found by a panel of NJ deciding Judges as being a “Dishonest person.” Smoger was previously denied his license in New York, Connecticut and NJ, yet despite the legal findings against him specifically designating him as dishonest he was not only re-licensed by the NYSAC but given the Main Event of Felix Trinidad V Ricardo Mayora in Madison Square Garden, televised on HBO. There were other referees who spoke Spanish that could have been used, like Mike Ortega and Sam Viruet, yet despite Smoger’s ban from boxing he was given this chance by the NYSAC.
73. *******The NYSAC also did not hold against Smoger his much publicized practice of relentless, self-serving campaigns of soliciting assignments from promoters which was addressed on the internet by various boxing writers including Pedro Fernandez on his website.
74. They have ignored my correspondence for years, have told me they had too many guys while hiring other people and ignoring my requests, and have taken away my life’s work and accomplishments in boxing by preventing my career from continuing because I spoke out against them and their friends while licensing and assigning referees with the most questionable records and underpinnings in boxing.
75. Finally, while attending the referee seminar in 2003, at the NYSAC offices, I was called into the Chairman’s office with Ron Scott Stevens, Hugo Spindola and Robert Limrick present. In a meeting documented by me, I was asked if I would be loyal to the Commission which I said I would, I was told by Stevens that I was “Only a sparring partner for great fighters, not a pro with Stevens himself never even having been a fighter, I took the abuse and remained polite, I told him I was a winning fighter with a much publicized knockout record as opposed to one former pro he had on the staff who had 2 fights and lost them both. Then I was told that there were other people there at the Commission who did not want me back, and they would have to approve.
I told him it was a State Agency and not a social club and that violated my rights of due process and the right to work.
76. The whole meeting was designed to humiliate me and test me out as a ruse.
Hugo Spindola incredibly said, “If you punched those men who attacked you, maybe we would be afraid you would hit someone in the ring if they hit you.” Everyone laughed at the absurdity of his remark and the ridiculous and incredible ploy of comparing that situation. They later denied my license in a documented phone conversation as previously described in which the Chairman said they had “Too many guys and lost my file they had signed for.”
77.* * * * Additionally, the symbiotic relationship with the NYSAC and the NJ State Athletic Control Board is also instrumental in the agreed blackballing of me as a referee. Larry Hazzard Senior the Chairmain of the NJSACB, has refused my letters, phone calls and any correspondence since 1997 until now. Despite numerous recent calls in which his secretary has promised on no less than 5 occasions to mail me an application for my referee license renewal, claiming it had been mailed out to me in May 2005. Despite giving this woman named “Kathy” my present address over 4 times, the Post Office has confirmed that no correspondence has been delivered here from the NJSACB.
78. Larry Hazzard Senior sued the NJ State Attorney General’s Office for usurping his authority. I contacted Mr. William Brown of the NJ State Attorney General’s Office who told me no one can help me, but to apply for my license again. When I told them no one would send me the application, they still did nothing to intercede.
78.* * * * I provided the NY Attorney General’s Office in the past with information of what was being done to me by seeing Elliot Spitzer in person in Newburgh NY and handing him a file. No one ever contacted me again. It was later learned that Mary Kavaney who is a Supervisor with Spitzer’s Office, had gone out socially with disbarred Judge Tim Tamsen and according to legal personnel who operate in Newburgh, had a personal and private relationship with the Judge.
80. I was later informed by my attorney Mike DeLisa, that the NYSAC’s attorney Hugo Spindola, is not being allowed to represent the NYSAC on this case. It is now incumbent upon the NY Attorney General’s Office to defend the very people who have been blackballing me under the color of law. Upon Mike DeLisa speaking to Assistant Attorney General Eugene Benger, who admitted he knew nothing of this case but is handling it, a “Superior” in his office took over and wanted to pursue it for the NYSAC to help them. They are in the NY Office at 212-416-6276. I cannot believe that Elliot Spitzer knows fully of what the NYSAC has done, and if he does, how could he allow them to do this.