ECSC being investigated for bylaw breach and conflict of interest cover-up in Cody McKenzie suspension case

The problem with an organization having a narcissistic leader is that statistically he will eventually break the law to get what he wants.

In Pat Reid’s own words, that horse has already left the barn.

The controversial executive director of the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission who prefers writing his own inflated bios and press releases, has never been one to follow rules, unless they are ones he’s written himself.

Reid recently told me he has a 20-plus-page rulebook  he is hoping to use when he starts a national federation he says will oversee MMA regulation in Canada and supplant the Association of Boxing Commissions, who have stepped on the renegade regulator’s delicate toes on more than one occasion.

“I’ve kind of given up on the ABC because they are controlled by the UFC, but when we have a Canadian federation we’ll have our own casebook and we’ll be able to take off in terms of providing better governance for this sport,” Reid explained to me during a February 13 interview.

I called him that morning to ask him to run through the decision-making process that went into Cody McKenzie’s 90-day suspension for head-butting Andrew McInnes the night prior at WSOF 18. I tried to let him go after 10 minutes. He kept me on the phone for another 35 so he could tell me stories about himself – about his past work history, which UFC fighters he has met, and how he flew home from the Seoul Olympics in the same plane as Ben Johnson among other brags. He never actually met the disgraced Canadian sprinter, but he still felt the need to drop his name.

I’m not sure if it’s because he felt a kinship with me as a fellow Canadian or if it was simply another symptom of his obvious megalomania (people with narcissistic personality disorder say what they want without regard for how their words may affect others), but Reid crossed the line from patriotic Canadian to xenophobic anti-American several times during our chat.

Like when he told me Johnson got the short end of the stick and was a scapegoat for the Americans, who are “the biggest cheaters of them all.”

Or when he told me how greedy Americans are:

I’ve talked to Herb Dean and John McCarthy and Yves Lavigne about co-authoring [the rulebook],” Reid explained. “The problem with Americans is they see it as a commercial product like, ‘Oh, we can make money off this!’ So I’m not collaborating with anybody.”

Or when he ranted to me about McKenzie’s foul:

“The point is if the guys was pulling his hair he should have pulled his hair back. If he pulls his hair, what do you do, get a gun and kill him? That’s typical American mentality. I was wronged, so I killed the bugger. There’s an eye for an eye, but not an eye for a life. You get your hair pulled so you should destroy his orbital bone and end his career and give him a concussion and put him out for six months? I don’t think so.”

 

There’s also this recent Facebook post he made about Americans:

Pat Reid

For all he knew, my wife was American. It didn’t matter to Reid. Nor did it matter that he was speaking with a reporter.

Reid took that same anti-American bias and vitriol into McKenzie’s emergency backstage disciplinary meeting he called immediately following WSOF 18.

He quickly misinformed the voting group that McInnes, who Reid announced earlier in the night would be receiving the “2014 Edmonton professional fighter of the year” award from his commission, had suffered a major concussion and a broken eye socket from the foul.  As such, he told them to make sure  that the punishment suited the level of damage McKenzie had caused. He also told the group that McKenzie had another fight booked in just over two months and that they should consider a punishment that would deter him from committing such a heinous foul again in the future.

I have since confirmed with several sources that McInnes was neither concussed, nor was his orbital bone broken. He is back in the gym preparing for a June 5 WSOF 21 fight. If he were concussed, he would have received an automatic 120-day suspension from the ECSC according to Reid.

McInnes is still listed in the ABC database as “indefinitely suspended,” and Reid is still maintaining the front that the fighter was concussed and that his orbital bone was fractured to support his case for the suspension. I have emails Reid has written as recently as this week in which he still lists McInnes’ non-existent injuries.

Earlier on the  same card Matt Baker, who has found himself in hot water for his unsportsmanlike conduct in the past, clashed heads with opponent Ali Mokdad. When referee Kyle Cardinal stepped in to stop the bout, Baker tried to kick his grounded opponent in the face, but barely grazed his chest. The intent to injure was there, but in MMA there is no rule against intent. Otherwise the sport wouldn’t be regulated. The goal of the game is to injure your opponent. As such, Baker, was not reprimanded.

“To tell you the truth Matt Baker came very close to being suspended last night. If he had have connected, he would have gotten six months,” Reid explained. “I know Matt Baker very well. He’s in several of my slides for my MMA medical presentations.”

Yet with no proven injury and no rule against intent to injure, Reid still threw the book at McKenzie.

The problem is, he actually broke one of the ECSC’s governing municipal bylaws to suspend the former UFC fighter.

Edmonton city bylaw 15638 Part II, section 7, clearly states:

“The Commission may create sub-committees to conduct research, provide review and commentary on existing or proposed Regulations, and otherwise assist the Commission to fulfill its mandate, but it may not delegate the Commission’s decision making power to a sub-committee.”

Here is how Reid explained the decision-making process that went into McKenzie’s punishment to me:

“We have a technical committee; it involves all of our referees, it involves all our judges.  Eight people were pulled together, and it was unanimous. Some of them wanted him fined, but I didn’t think that was right.” Reid pointed out. “He’s going to miss a fight… probably here or there or somewhere.”

“The referee is watching the fight. He hears the guys talking to each other. He knows what’s going on. He’s the only one who’s in the ring besides the men [fighting] and when somebody intentionally drops like he did – just dropped his head right in his face – the referee called it instantly. It was an instant call,” Reid recalled. “He was automatically disqualified. It wasn’t like, ‘Hmm, I wonder what I should do here. Should I go talk to a technical committee?’ He made the call, and boom, it was done on the spot. The issue that followed from that was not so much [proving] intent, it was would there be a fine, would there be a suspension, and that’s where I went to the committee.”

When pressed for a list of members of the committee to rule out any conflicts of interest, Reid refused to name them. He simply shrugged off the question by telling me, “They don’t wish to be identified, but these are all highly qualified people. Many of them are local coaches and trainers from gyms around Edmonton.”

I obtained a copy of the official appeal decision from McKenzie to see if there would be an official record of the bylaw breach that I could add to my quotes of Reid admitting the impropriety.

The response, written by commission chair Ron Goltz – a senior lawyer with Edmonton’s Workers’ Compensation Board, conveniently left out any mention of the use of the technical committee.

Here’s Goltz’s retelling of events from that document:

“The Executive Director was in attendance at the contest and witnessed the infraction. After consulting with the referees and judges also in attendance at the contest, the Executive Director imposed a 90-day suspension on the Appellant for the Infraction.”

I reached out to Goltz to ask him for a list of the committee members Reid indicated were involved in the suspension vote and he wouldn’t supply me with. I also informed him of a potential conflict of interest I’d uncovered involving one of the commissioners who voted on the appeal.

Owen Dawkins is the head coach of the University of Alberta wrestling team. Dawkins’ assistant coach is Roger Alves – a longtime friend, training partner and wrestling coach of McInnes. I confirmed with more than one source that McInnes has trained under Dawkins at U of A.

In a smarmy email laced with legalese and bylaw quotations, Goltz denied the use of the technical committee, in spite of the quotes I sent him from Reid stating otherwise. He told me I had taken Reid’s quotes out of context somehow and that the only people in the closed-door meeting were the referees and judges referred to in the appeal.  He identified them as the ECSC referees and judges who worked the event, Kyle Cardinal, Vern Gorman, John Braak, Sean Gerke, Marek Staszuk and Thomas Collins.

He also warned me against making a public conflict of interest claim against Dawkins, as there is no physical proof that Dawkins and McInnes have a relationship and being a friend of a friend or training on Dawkins U of A mats doesn’t amount to a conflict of interest.

I replied with the following screen grab that proved, at least in the eyes of Facebook, the two were friends.

ANDREW MCINNES FB FRIENDS

As per ECSC protocol, Goltz, as commission chair is obligated to launch an investigation into the allegations against Dawkins.

Instead, he warned his fellow commissioner about my claim. Dawkins deleted McInnes from his friends list an hour later and no further action was taken by Goltz.

MCINNES

In my last email to Goltz I informed him I had audio of the entire interview with the executive director and it was clear that either Reid had lied to him, or he was covering for Reid.

His reply was a lot less condescending after I informed him that I had audio recordings of Reid admitting he used the committee and that at least one of them was guilty of misinformation.

“You should seek further clarification from Mr. Reid.  I have provided you with my full understanding of the matter.”

I emailed impropriety concerns and my quotes from Reid to the Edmonton City Manager’s office for review. The case is currently being investigated by the city’s Community Services and Community Standards office.

I’m told I should expect a response early next week. Hopefully the case is taken seriously, considering it’s tantamount to fraud. Something Reid was accused of before.

Reid was what was known in political circles in Ottawa as a winer and diner. After leaving a 16-year government bureaucrat career with Sport Canada, Reid freelanced as a “professional fundraiser” in the Canadian capitol.

He is credited as the orchestrator of a deal that would have seen Ottawa Senators centreman Alexei Yashin donate $1-million to the non-profit National Arts Centre over five years split up into five $200,000 payments. It is said Reid waited after a Senators practice to approach Yashin about his idea in the Corel Centre parking lot.

Within months Yashin was speaking at a press conference outside the NAC with Reid smiling at his arm, proclaiming that the sole intention of his tax-deductible donation was to give his fellow Russian performers — ballerinas and opera singers and the like — a leg up by offering them a venue in his adopted hometwon to perform at. The truth was the deal was much more selfishly motivated that that.

Financial records show that half of Yashin’s first $200,000 instalment was split between Reid and Yashin’s mother, who the NAC paid a lawyer to set up a numbered corporation in her name so she could charge the Centre $85k a year in consulting fees. Reid’s yearly cut for brokering the deal was $15,000. When news broke of the intricacies of the deal, which many analyst believe was a carefully orchestrated tax fraud scheme, the NAC fired all of the NAC brass who were involved. Yashin pulled out after his first payment, citing a lack of Russian talent used by the NAC, who weren’t honoring the agreement he claimed they had. Many believe Yashin pulling out was simply an easy way to avoid criminal or Revenue Canada investigations.

Reid bizarrely commented on Yashin’s management and trade status a year after the deal fell through as if he were a hockey business analyst.

ABC president Tim Luckenhoff informed me via email that if the city doesn’t reverse the suspension decision, his association would look at the case and intervene if necessary.

We’ll have updates to this story as we receive them.

 

 

 

 

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