The New York State Athletic Commission has long been a curio of the state’s bureaucracy, an odd little agency charged with the considerable responsibility of ensuring the integrity of professional boxing and the safety of fighters who risk harm for entertainment. Mismanagement, patronage and piecemeal corruption pepper its history.
Two years ago, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo appointed David Berlin, a lawyer with an expertise in boxing, to be the athletic commission’s executive director. Mr. Berlin’s appointment and the creation of the new supervisory position were seen by many as moves to reform the commission — to make it more professional and accountable.
The match did not take: Last month, the Cuomo administration abruptly replaced Mr. Berlin, who, his lawyer says, was removed in retaliation for diligently reporting wrongdoing within the commission.
Mr. Berlin’s dismissal is the latest controversy to envelop the athletic commission, whose mandate is broadening as a result of the recent passing of legislation lifting a longtime ban on competitive mixed martial arts. The agency is also under investigation by the state inspector general’s office and is the subject of…