We have a problem. We need to stop looking the other way, pretending it doesn’t exist and actually fix it once and for all, instead of burying our heads in the sand.
Over the past several years the poor decisions and incompetence of the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission and its woefully inept executive director Pat Reid have turned the once respected commission into the running joke in combat sports regulation in Canada.
Amongst those in the know here in the Great Fight North, the ECSC is widely regarded as the worst, most unsafe and corrupt commission in Canada, if not North America. Edmonton is often referred to as “the wild west of combat sports regulation,” because of the commission’s constant rule and statute breaches, often to the detriment of fighter safety.
You may recall back in 2009 when Reid announced that he would be sanctioning an event using Japanese DREAM rules, including stomps, kicks, and knees to the head of grounded opponents. In Reid’s mind the gimmick would likely garner the ECSC media attention like his pink jersey one did the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. He didn’t expect the backlash the decision rightly earned him and his commission. How could he? He only started following mixed martial arts when he was handed the job with the ECSC. Just four months prior to his decision to allow Colloseo Fighting Championships to use the much maligned rule set.
Two years before that Reid leaned against the edge of the lectern at the head of his classroom at Algonquin College and tried to talk one of his Sport Business Management students out of interning for a Gatineau, Quebec-based mixed martial arts promotion. “Forget about that. If you want a real sport to work in, you need to go to Sport Canada and see about interning for Wrestling Canada or Boxing Canada,” Reid instructed the student.
“There’s been discussion that if Edmonton goes through with this, there will have to be a discussion about their associate member status… and I’m sure there will be some adamant demands for it to be revoked,” then-ABC president Tim Lueckenhoff told Edmonton Sun reporter Murray Greig in a January 2010 interview. “It’s embarrassing for Edmonton to be branded a rogue commission, absolutely. To have a commission that radically modifies the rules to satisfy one promoter throws open the door to a whole new set of problems. The other door it opens is that if a fighter is seriously injured, or worse, under those new rules, it’s going to be a very, very big problem for the Edmonton commission. I can’t understand why they’re doing it.”
“They” weren’t doing it.
According to former commission members I’ve spoken to who were on the board in question, there was no vote on the rules approval during their tenures. The decision and subsequent announcement was made by Reid and was made official by the ECSC on February 8, 2010 when the board, led by chair Ioannides, voted unanimously in favour of approving the rules promoter Lino Santoro used at the event.
Meeting minutes from the closed hearing indicate that they blamed the rules approval on the old guard.
I informed the ABC of Reid and Ioannides’ transgressions recently and spoke with ABC president Mike Mazzulli about the incident yesterday. Mazzulli declined comment on the issue until he speaks with his executive and attending members of that 2010 disciplinary meeting in New Orleans, but seemed concerned about the situation.
A POORLY-EXECUTED COUNCIL-ORDERED INVESTIGATION
The result of that hearing weighed heavily on this council-ordered investigation into Reid and the ECSC.
Unfortunately for everyone but Reid and his cronies, Sierra Systems grossly mishandled the investigation and city council didn’t bother to confirm whether or not the evidence and facts in the report it received were legitimate.
It’s not inconceivable that Sierra fudged the results on purpose. The company already had an established working relationship with Reid and Aitken, who they allowed to change a 2008 strategic plan it was contracted to devise that called for the hiring of an administrator for a two-year contract to help oversee the commission’s drafting and integration of new city bylaws.
A year after the report came out Aitken hired Reid as the city’s “Chief Combative Officer.”
The city put out this press release announcing Reid’s hiring:
According to the investigation report, Reid hired Sierra Systems to help write his policy manuals a few months prior to the firm being hired to investigate him. A clear conflict of interest given the established paying client relationship the company already had with him. It would be stupid for Sierra to bite the hand that feeds.
Council ordered that the investigation, which was prompted by a motion by councilor Ron Hayter and numerous complaints by several concerned stakeholders in the city, answer five key questions. Unfortunately none of the alderman who approved the investigation specified that they be the correct answers. In hindsight they probably should have given that all of the important ones were answered wrong.
- Are the rules and regulations approved by the Commission being enforced as required?
Sierra’s report concluded that they were. In reality they weren’t.
In December 2009 Reid was busy. That month he arbitrarily and without any input from the board approved DREAM rules and reduced the universally accepted minimum fighter medical suspension from 14 to seven days.
Since then Reid has bent the rules on multiple occasions.
Like when he let Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou take his gloves back to his hotel room for the night to stretch them for his MFC 31 title shot against MFC light heavyweight champion Ryan Jimmo.
Sokoudjou wasn’t the only fighter Reid let breach that section of the city’s combat sport bylaw, which requires combatants to wear new, bagged gloves that aren’t to leave the possession of the commission prior to being put on the fighters in the dressing room before their fights. Joe Riggs brought his three-month-old Strikeforce gloves along to Edmonton for his King of the Cage Canada 48 fight with Trent Thorne.
Thorne could have protested the outcome of the bout due to the rule breach if the ECSC allowed appeals for non-licensing issues. They don’t. The reason, Reid told me during our interview in February is that he always backs his officials.
“But what if they screw up?” I asked him. “People are human. They make mistakes.”
“There are three judges on three different sides of the cage. We put our non-refereeing ref on the fourth side. We have all the angles covered in the case that something got missed, but our referees don’t miss the important calls because they are COMMAND certified. We know they are COMMAND certified and there’s no disputing that and we back them 100 percent,” Reid explained. “If they make a call, we stand by it… The rules are very weak on a number of things. That’s why you need a casebook and you need really good officials. You have to back your officials. That’s how we do it. The only way we would turn a result over here is if we found out there was a positive drug test result later or if we found out the guys were in collusion and one of them threw the fight on purpose. The third one would be if the scorekeeper added up the scorecards wrong. Otherwise we back our officials.”
Most recently Reid sanctioned a September 25 fight at Unified 24 between bantamweight James McGrath featherweight Bruno Marques. McGrath officially weighed in at 128.6 pounds while Marques tipped the scales at 140.8 pounds. The Unified rules allow up to a 10-pound weight difference between opponents. The fight should have been cancelled.
This past June 4 Reid allowed World Series of Fighting heavyweight Blagoi Ivanov to weigh-in two hours prior to the start of WSOF 21.Protocol in Edmonton calls for weigh-ins at least 24-hours before to the start of an event.
Ironically the incident that prompted Edmonton Sun reporter Murray Grieg – the journalist who tipped off the ABC about Reid’s arbitrary approval of DREAM rules – to dig in on the wrongdoings of Reid and the ECSC surrounded the commission’s alteration of weigh-in procedures for the November 13, 2009 Jelena Mrdjenovich-Ann Saccurato women’s lightweight World Boxing Council title fight.
Reid falsely informed the board that Greig had called the ECSC out for following WBC protocol by allowing Saccurato an additional two hours to make the contracted 134-pound weight allowance. When confronted by then-commissioner Brian Caines about the situation Reid tried to keep up with the lie until Greig put him in his place with this email.
The incident and a handful of other equally egregious and concerning ones like the time Reid consumed nearly an entire bottle of wine before overseeing an October 2009 Frank Lee muay thai event, prompted commissioners to say “no mas.”
Caines, chair John Campbell, vice chair Mary Modrovcic and commissioner Bill MacRae announced on December 1 that they would be calling a December 12 commission vote to request Edmonton city council remove Reid. All four members informed the membership that they intended to vote in favor of the motion, making it an undefeatable majority.
Hours after the vote was called and scheduled commissioner Mark Grotski, who was also to be dealt with at the next ECSC meeting for drinking at that event with Reid, lodged a vague and vexatious financial conflict of interest claim against Campbell and technical director Orest Zmyndak.
Constant Reid protector, Community Standards Branch Manager David Aitken, who vetoed the 3 to 1 hiring committee vote against hiring Reid (Aitken’s was the one vote for) swiftly stepped in and suspended both men without evidence while an audit of the commission books was done. The investigation was dragged out for nearly six months before being closed, effectively killing the expected 4 to 3 vote in favor of Reid’s removal.
The December 12, 2009 meeting and vote was cancelled due to the 3 to 3 deadlock.
Zmyndak was executive director at the time the job posting for his role with an upgraded salary quietly and without notice went up on the City of Edmonton website. He was the candidate the ECSC hiring committee actually chose for the job. Aitken blocked the hiring by stating that Zmyndak “didn’t have the required University degree the posting called for.” Reid, who had never watched a combat sports event from start to finish and whose degree is in physical education, was hardly more qualified than Zmyndak, who had been running the commission for two terms as executive director and had been commission chair and member for over a decade before that.
Zmyndak won a recent financial settlement from the city for wrongful contract termination relating to how he was pushed out of his technical coordinator role (which was created to fill in the knowledge gaps Reid was woefully lacking in). On December 5, 2009 Reid sent this email to commission members and officials insinuating that Campbell and Zmyndak, who were both highly respected by both officials and their fellow commissioners, were guilty of financial improprieties, necessitating the freezing of commission bank accounts and delaying their pay for that night’s event.
The city also settled for an undisclosed amount with KO Boxing promoters Glenn Carriere and Milan Lubovac, who were forced to breach television contracts with TSN and Sportsnet after Reid gave away their previously booked event dates to other promoters soon after taking over the ECSC.
Campbell wrote the email below to Edmonton city council and mayor’s office in February 2010 offering his support for the investigation, but was never contacted.
- Does the ECSC Executive Director have the authority, within the bylaw or the rules and regulations duly approved by the Commission, to alter or revise existing rules and regulations, or create and implement new rules and regulations, without approval of the Commission?
Sierra answered no to this question, but added an asterisk to the answer with the explanation that the commission had voted to relinquish many of its decision-making powers to Reid.
This was a questionable decision to say the least, given that the commission acts as the ECSC’s board of directors and Reid is its CEO. By giving away its decision-making powers, the board made itself obsolete.
Many stakeholders I’ve spoken to from Edmonton feel that this head-scratching move was done to afford Reid a layer of protection that would prevent the board from voting him off the island like they nearly did in 2009.
This theory makes sense when you read this January 2010 KO Boxing/The Fight Club promoters complaint to council and this one by the same group that was sent to then-mayor Stephen Mandel about Reid and the shady performance of the ECSC. Both were ignored by the city, prompting the promoters into litigation.
According to the promoters Reid hand-picked his subservient commission from contacts he made while working for the University of Alberta/City of Edmonton joint World University Games (Universiade) bid and while coaching high jump for U of A’s track and field team.
Vang Ioannides, who is current ECSC chair, was one of the signing authorities of Reid’s paid coaching honorarium with U of A. He and Reid attended a September 2009 U of A Alumni awards ceremony together two months before Ioannides applied to the commission. Ioannides was head coach of the U of A Golden Bears and Pandas wrestling team when Reid began working at the university in 2008.
Reid was brought to Edmonton to work on the University Games by his former University of Waterloo dorm mate John Barry, who was the associate Dean of physical education at the time and a former U of A wrestling coach. Barry’s late father Don is Aitken’s former planning department boss. His wife Gabriele is a senior planner with the City and a former planning department co-worker of Aitken.
Reid’s relationship with wrestling in Alberta goes back to his days as an administrator with Sport Canada. One of his roles during his 17 years with the federal government agency saw him approve and distribute funding to amateur wrestlers. Many of the athletes he funded were from Edmonton and U of A.
Owen Dawkins, who is still on the commission, is one of Ioannides’ former U of A wrestlers. He was handpicked by Ioannides to replace him as head U of A wrestling coach when he was promoted to assistant athletic director. Dawkins repaid the favor by nominating Ioannides as commission chair at their first board meeting in January 2010.
I recently registered a conflict of interest complaint against Dawkins with the ECSC and the city’s Community Services Committee.
According to this March 2011 blog post by Ryan Jimmo, Dawkins was an active wrestling coach of fighters who competed in Edmonton while he served on the commission, which contravenes the ECSC’s code of conduct , which states that all applicants who are coaches must be inactive for one year prior to applying. Commissioners are required to sign a statutory declaration if their personal situation changes and they are even perceived to be in conflict of interest. It’s unlikely Dawkins signed a declaration that stated he coached fighters he oversaw as a commission. IF he had he should have been removed due to the conflict.
We’re closing in on two months since I registered the complaint and I have not received a reply from the ECSC or the City of Edmonton.
I’m told that the spotlight this story shone on former chair Ron Goltz, who failed to investigate the first COI complaint I raised against Dawkins and the bylaw breach complaint I raised against Reid surrounding Cody McKenzie’s head-butt suspension, prompted the lawyer and sometimes U of A lecturer to quit the commission a few months ago. Fellow law expert Bryan Hogeveen followed Goltz’s lead and also quit over the summer. Perhaps it was because the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and instructor also breached the ECSC COI by not divulging the fact that he coached and cornered some of his fighters less than two months prior to applying for the commission. Maybe he figured he was next to be exposed.
Reid was well aware of this breach by Hogeveen. According to this September 30, 2009 email he sent the commission members the week of the event, Reid attended MFC 22 with Hogeveen as his guest, shadowing the U of A criminology professor and jiu-jitsu instructor as he prepared and cornered his students at the event at the River Cree Casino.
Sid Bennett, who elected Goltz vice chair at that first meeting in January, was Reid and Aitken’s personal trainer at World Health. This constituted yet another conflict of interest, given the unlikelihood that he would vote against the executive director, who was a paying customer. Again the conflict was overlooked.
The last two commissioners on the new look January 2010 edition of the ECSC were carryovers from the old guard: Bill MacRae and Mark Grotski.
Two weeks after writing city council this poignant letter supporting councilor Ron Hayter’s motion for the city’s investigation into Reid and the commission, MacRae was voted off the board. The reason: he did not support the board’s overall decisions and maintain solidarity with his fellow commissioners.
According to the meeting minutes from MacRae’s March 8, 2010 disciplinary hearing, he was officially removed from the ECSC by unanimous vote for breaching commission code of conduct sections 2.1 (c), (d), (e), (g), 2.2 (d), 2.4 (b), (c), (d), (e), and (i).
Section 2.4 states that members must:
(b) Serve the overall best Interest of the Commission
(c) Subordinate their personal interests and those of any particular constituency to the best interests of the Commission·
(d) Bring credibility and goodwill to the Commission
(e) Respect principles of fair play and due process
(i) Demonstrate good faith, prudent Judgment, honesty, transparency and openness in their activities on behalf of the Commission.
MacRae followed all of these tenets to a “T.”
Exposing Reid and his wrongdoings was in the best interest of the commission. By registering the complaint MacRae brought credibility and goodwill to the commission. Although he always respected the principles of fair play and due process, MacRae was never given a chance to speak at his hearing, or at the community services committee meeting where council members voted unanimously to permanently remove him from the board.
The Sierra report farcically boasted that MacRae’s firing demonstrated that the commission was on the up-and-up. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The following example demonstrates how the Commission has taken on a challenging enforcement situation: In March 2010, the Commission Members moved, seconded and carried a motion concerning a breach of the Code of Conduct by an existing Commission Member. The Commission then moved, seconded and carried a motion to suspend this person from all business of the ECSC until such time as Council has ruled on Section 5.2(J)(v) of the Code of Conduct. Full disclosure of this occasion can be found, well documented, in the ECSC meeting minutes dated, March 8, 2010.
MacRae wrote the email below to city auditor David Wiun in July 2010 — the month the audit of the ECSC audit began, to offer information and evidence documents to the investigators. He also complained that he was never afforded his due process by the commission or by the city.
Not surprisingly, MacRae was never contacted by Sierra investigators. None of the former commission members were. Instead they only interviewed Reid’s embedded commissioners who all said the executive director was doing a bang-up job. Had the crack team of investigators bothered to speak to the promoters and former commission members who had registered complaints with the city, the outcome of the investigation would have been decidedly different.
It’s no wonder combat sport stakeholders in the Edmonton believe that the city administration and council are protecting the inept executive director, effectively cutting off its nose to spite its face.
- Were any rules or bylaws added or altered without approval of the Commission?
Sierra concluded “no,” but evidence point to “yes.”
While the investigation was going on, a concerned party who Reid had been using as a pseudo-spy to collect dirt on the commission members he wanted removed, came forward with a tape he had secretly recorded. On the tape Reid admits to a third party that he submitted a version of the developing combat sport bylaw for rubber-stamping by the city that had not been approved by council.
“They passed the bylaw to the city. Now the city council, which has a different version, will pass it on the 24th of November,” Reid explained matter-of-factly.
Aitken rejected the recording as well as a second tape of Reid admitting he tampered with the commission hiring process by throwing out an applications submitted by former commissioner Mickey Ali and admitting that he was actively trying to eliminate the members who crossed him.
“They’re going to be eliminated. This is all going like I said it would from the beginning. It just takes time because I can’t do anything without the bylaw. Now they’ve approved the bylaw schedule, so now that’s into the city’s hands. The new people got interviewed today [for the open 2010 commission positions]. November 24th they’re going to find out where they stand. November 24th the bylaw gets approved. November 25th, poof,” Reid told the other voice on the tape. “There were like nine people interviewed — new people. Oh no, sorry, there was [sic] eight because I vetoed one application: Mickey Ali. You didn’t hear that from me. I’m not supposed to know that. But I just made sure he wasn’t fucking interviewed.”
Just before the second tape cuts off Reid can be heard boasting about his offensive against Zmyndak, “Orest is fucked,” Reid hisses. “He can see it coming from so many…” Silence.
According to Aitken, the reason the clips couldn’t be admitted as evidence was that he “couldn’t prove it was Reid on the tape.” The voice is unmistakably Reid’s. Plus, he is the only person beside Aitken who knew these intimate details of the hiring process and the bylaw approval process that took place.
Even if the tapes couldn’t be used as evidence for that reason, the information on them should have prompted an investigation by Aitken. He could have used the info and compared the two versions of the bylaw in question and investigated the application process. That is if he weren’t guilty of the same malfeasance as his friend Pat Reid.
Had the tapes been admitted to the Sierra investigators, they would have also implicated Aitken, who allowed Reid access to the list of applicants and also likely submitted the altered bylaw to the city. Reid was to have no input or part in selecting the council-appointed volunteer members of the commission.
What makes a commission fair and free from corruption is that its members come from all walks of life and share the common goal of maintaining the integrity of the sports they oversee and the safety of the athletes trusted to their care.
The CEO of an organization should not be allowed to pick a sympathetic board of directors who won’t take him to task for his bad decisions for fear of retribution. That situation does not put the best interests of the company at the forefront and typically leads to fallout, like the two lawsuits Edmonton will attempt to defend against in January if they don’t settle out of court before then. It’s likely if Reid testifies several of his lies and misdeeds will be brought up on record, under oath.
Maybe then we’ll finally get the truth.
It may be an expensive lesson learned for Edmonton, and one Red Deer, the province, and this national commission might want to take heed of before getting in bed with Reid.
- Have any administrative practices been added or altered without approval of the Commission?
The report said “no,” but reality says “yes.”
In 2011 Reid began collecting new fees that had been approved for 2012. The commission was on the bubble for its financial instability after Reid blew through the reserve funds. It had been running a sizable deficit since Reid took the helm, thanks in large part to his numerous trips to conferences and UFC events in the U.S.
In early 2010 he took former commissioner April Bedard to a UFC event in Las Vegas so she could observe how the UFC timekeepers work a stopwatch and ring a bell. Bedard had been one of the hiring committee members against Reid’s appointment, but quickly changed her tune about Reid when he offered her a paid timekeeper position with the ECSC in exchange for her giving up her commission seat for one of his U of A cronies. Perhaps that’s why Bedard and former commissioner Dave Wiles, who both vacated their volunteer board seats so Reid could fill them with his supporters, planned to vote against the doomed motion to remove Reid from his position.
I’m still trying to confirm whether or not Bedard took the photos of Reid that peppered his social media accounts prior to deletion a few months ago posing with Dana White, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell.
She should have known better if she did, as it’s against ECSC policy to take photos with and get autographs from promoters and fighters, given the obvious perception of bias.
Grotski’s was the third vote against the motion. A vote in favor by him would be the equivalent of his resignation letter. He too had breached the city’s and commission’s zero-tolerance policy by playing drinking wingman for Reid before and after that muay thai event, when the pair also attended the promoter’s after party with Wiles where they continued to imbibe. Yet another clear conflict of interest, perceived show of bias and breach of the ECSC Code of Conduct ignored.
After the vote was sunk commissioner Brian Caines still lodged an official complaint with Aitken about Reid and Grotski drinking on the job and Reid lying to the board, prompting them to lose confidence and trust in the executive director. All complaints were rejected by Aitken, who called them “vexatious” and “without merit,” in spite of evidence he was provided, including statements from witnesses who saw the pair drinking that night.
- Did the reputable “Association of Boxing Commissions” threaten to cancel the Edmonton Commission’s membership for adopting rules or regulations, which they consider to be highly dangerous?
“There’s been discussion that if Edmonton goes through with this, there will have to be a discussion about their associate member status… and I’m sure there will be some adamant demands for it to be revoked.
-ABC President Tim Lueckenhoff
Sierra answered no. According to that quote then-ABC resident Tim Lueckenhoff gave Greig, the answer was clearly yes. Given the new information that Reid and Ioannides lied to the disciplinary committee and that Reid and the ECSC knowingly defied the warning by Lueckenhoff, it’s even more likely Edmonton would have had its membership suspended or revoked. If not then, then it’s very possible they may now given the new evidence.
The ABC has a tough decision ahead. Not acting on this information would send a dangerous message to its membership that lying to the association is an acceptable practice when facing discipline.
Should it sanction or suspend the ECSC’s membership for lying to that disciplinary committee back in 2010, it might force Edmonton City Council to reopen the Sierra investigation. Edmonton owes it to former councilor Ron Hayter, who is the man many feel is largely responsible for ensuring the commission was run with integrity and without taxpayer dollars for decades thanks to smart investments he made while he served as executive director and commission chair.
Hayter built the ECSC reserve funds up to over $150,000 through smart long-term investments. The balances remained above $100k for several years before Reid got his hands on the accounts and piddled them away. Now that the money is all gone the ECSC receives an annual $200,000 bailout from the city to cover Reid’s reported six-figure salary and flippant spending. It still isn’t enough to break even. That’s why the Pat Reid show is going on the road.
What’s scary is that Reid and his corrupt commission are sitting on the precipice of taking over regulation in Red Deer, Alberta.
The Central Combative Sports Commission – a governing body run by Dale Kliparchuk and Al McKechnie, two of Alberta’s most seasoned and respected regulators, already oversees the jurisdiction. Central has receive a fraction of the complaints Reid has gotten in his six years in Edmonton, and Kliparchuk and MacKechnie are much more experienced and respected in Alberta as regulators.
Reid’s M.O. is to contact other centers to falsely inform the powers that be that if they use non John McCarthy COMMAND-certified officials they will be sued. Edmonton selectively enforces its rule that only COMMAND-certified referees and judges are allowed to oversee MMA events in the city. There have been several incidences where Reid has overlooked the rule and allowed referees who haven’t taken the course to work his events.
The decision to move into Red Deer will be left to a commission vote at the November meeting after a report from city lawyers is read through by the membership. If it happens it’s very likely Havoc Fighting Championships – the sole MMA promotion in Red Deer will move out of town, leaving the ECSC struggling to recoup its costs elsewhere.
A STRATEGIC FOOTHOLD
It’s thought that by taking over Red Deer, Reid will be able to plead his case that he should run the Alberta provincial commission when it is created due to the ECSC’s strategic foothold he is creating in the province.
Today (October 15) in Ottawa Reid pled his case to the other provincial commission heads and Canadian Federal Minister for Sport Bal Gosal that they should start a national federation to replace the ABC here to oversee mixed martial arts regulation in Canada.
Curiously the group, known as the Safety in Combative Sports Working Group, does not include any of the other much more seasoned and qualified Alberta regulators like the MacKechnie and Kliparchuk, Shirley Stunzi from Calgary, or Bernie Pohl from Lethbridge. Not including them is a major oversight given how much knowledge they would each bring to the table along with their decades of regulation experience.
Because the group was his idea and the report they are discussing today he wrote, Reid was included on the committee by default; like a school child who brings his ball to school so he is picked to be on a team, mainly out of obligation.
Although council (through the community services committee) instructed the ECSC on August 18, 2014 to continue to work with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association initiative to form a provincial commission, meeting minutes from the July 14, 2014 ECSC meeting show the membership had already decided to reject the notion, opting instead to build its own “running out-of-the-box” commission that could ostensibly take over regulation in the province tomorrow if given the go ahead.
On his carefully crafted board Reid currently has a former city lawyer, a federal-provincial policy maker, and a public relations rep – most of the necessary personnel for running a provincial commission.
Reid is also angling towards being the head of the national federation when it is created, but I’m told the other members are concerned with his questionable body of work in combat sports and are unlikely to appoint such a polarizing leader.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Now the City of Edmonton is pawning its dirty little secret off to other jurisdictions where fighters who have avoided fighting in Edmonton because of the ineptitude of the ECSC may soon not have a choice in the matter in Red Deer, if not all of Alberta. Then there are the dozens of officials who have been blacklisted by Reid for standing up to him for his poor decisions and behavior. With Reid in charge of Red Deer and the province, these highly qualified world-renowned judges and referees will not be able to work in their hometown or province.
What Edmonton should be doing is thoroughly investigating Reid and his protective commission like they should have when councilor Hayter tried to stop the corruption and ineptitude in its tracks back in 2010.
Shame on the councilors who balked at Hayter’s insistence that there was fire underneath all of the smoke emanating from the ECSC offices. He was right all along and now the commission has been burned to the foundation.
Based on this list of 27 complaints against Reid and his facade of a commission, compiled during his first four months as executive director, Hayter’s initiative should have resulted in the city intervening and cutting the roots and branches infected with corruption from the once flourishing governing body. As we learned from the FIFA scandal in some cases the stains of corruption are so deep replacing a few sheets won’t do. Sometimes have to throw away the bedding and mattress you’ve made and start fresh.
Hayter, who retired in July 2010 before he could follow up on the flawed Sierra report, wrote the following heartbreaking email to a former commission member, eulogizing combat sports in Edmonton:
I have more or less given up trying to change things back to when we had a commission that was knowledgeable and committed to the betterment and public acceptance of combat sports. It is hopeless in its current garb. The Executive Director, or whatever he is called, has wound a coat of deception and misconception around himself. The situation gets worse when the Commission, more or less, lets him do what he wants despite his total inadequacy.
As you know, I became an internationally accredited boxing judge when I left the post of Executive Director and handled many boxing events in this capacity. It hurts not to be able to act in this capacity in this city but I do not want to be a part of the current regime.
We once had a Commission that was lauded across the country, and by international bodies, for its leadership in expertise, consistency and introduction of a strongly enforced Safety Code.
I’m proud to have been inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame for my efforts, on the local, national and international scenes. But I weep for what I see today in Edmonton.
We should all be weeping for what we see in Edmonton today. Then we should all dry our tears and actually do something about it, rather than just shake our heads.
I urge you all to tell the powers that be that enough is enough and we aren’t going to allow Reid and his corrupt commission to rape, pillage, and make a mockery of combat sports any longer. If Edmonton chooses to continue to harbor him and his $100K-per-year salary, that’s their prerogative, but the rest of us shouldn’t have to suffer for the city’s poor decisions. I’ve spoken to taxpayers in the city who want to see both Aitken and Reid suspended and investigated.
Now that former city manager Simon Farbrother has been sacked, I’d say the odds of that happening have increased. I’ve provided enough evidence on this website to at least warrant someone with integrity in council to look a little deeper into how this issue was so carefully hidden from them by the city administration for so long. The Pat Reid experiment has cost taxpayers in Edmonton $1 million and counting. The commission has been in “cost recovery” mode since 2011. With the unlikelihood that the UFC will come to YEG in 2015, this won’t change any time soon.
Here is a list of Edmonton city council contacts. Feel free to let them know your thoughts on Reid’s reign of error and the city’s lack of investigation of his misdeeds. Perhaps an outpouring of concerns may prompt them to finally respond. Up until now they have all collectively hidden their heads in the sand. Still waiting on a response to my complaint against Owen Dawkins. If you get through to any of them, tell them to call me.
As John F. Kennedy said, “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
We’ve been comfortable for far too long with how Edmonton has been regulating combat sports. Now is the time to act.