(‘Who’s up for killing some hookers after this? Nah, I’m just joking. Unless you guys are up for it.’)
Now that he’s finally done making a colossal mess of the California State Athletic Commission, Armando Garcia is threatening to become something of a Nixonian figure. Not in the sense that he wielded an absurd amount of power and used it to attack the enemies he saw everywhere he looked, but more like there were any number of reasons why he should have been forced out, and regardless of which one you believe it just seems like a good thing it finally happened.
Could it have been the sexual harassment claims from an employee he had a romantic relationship with? Could it be the efficiency with which he made California’s drug-testing and appeals process into the most questionable in the nation? Could it have been the numerous fighters whose careers he needlessly meddled with? There are just so many options. Now there’s one more, courtesy of a press release from the bush-leaguers at New Era Fighting, who would also like a little credit for ousting Garcia:
IRVINE, California (December 1, 2008) – The recent resignation of embattled California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) Executive Director Armando Garcia apparently came from pressure applied after it was announced a year ago that New Era Fighting (NEF) was filing a $500,000,000 lawsuit against Garcia, alleging a pattern and practice by the California State Athletic Commission of intentionally, willfully and viciously interfering with a licensed and approved event, which effected and injured New Era Fighting in the same or similar fashion as other mixed martial arts promoters, managers and fighters.
In addition to Garcia, the California State Athletic Commission, Frank Munoz (CSAC Staff Services Analyst), and the State’s Department of Consumer Affairs were also named in the lawsuit, presently in the investigation process for loss of revenues (past, present and future), film production, media exposure, credibility, television show, venue deposits, fighters and opportunity costs.
NEF was given a cease and desist order by the CSAC, issued only minutes prior to and forcing the cancellation of NEF’s much publicized scheduled tryouts on July 19, 2007 in Montebello (CA). The CSAC claimed Kort wasn’t a licensed promoter despite having approved his application, issuing a promoter’s license, and cashing his check in 2007 for the renewal of the promoter’s license.
The CSAC responded by announcing a review of NEF’s promotional licensing renewal, incredibly, 10 months after the CSAC cashed NEF’s check for its 2007-2008 promoter’s license, and two weeks after a legal claim had been delivered to the State.
The CSAC, under Garcia’s direction, has been linked to numerous improprieties including alleged corruption, superseding its authority, double bonding promoters, protecting or favoring specific MMA promoters, and unfairly treating some MMA promoters such as Kort.
Is New Era Fighting overestimating its own importance here? Definitely. Does this press release seem both opportunistic and little excessive in its claims? Sure. But at this point, I’m pretty much willing to believe almost anything negative about Garcia thanks to the flood of criticism that precipitated and followed his resignation.
Was he just sitting around the CSAC’s offices, lighting Cuban cigars with hundred-dollar bills from his stack of bribe money while pinching the asses of female employees and spiking Sean Sherk’s urine sample with Nandrolone? Okay, that’s a pretty awesome image, so a part of me would like to believe it’s true, even though I know the reality is probably closer to corruption and incompetence of a much more boring nature. Which is why reality is stupid.