Deputy attorney general to handle Gilbert case
By Mike Houser
RENO – The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not consider the merits of Reno boxer Joey Gilbert’s motion to remove executive director Keith Kizer after Kizer indicated to the commission Monday that his role in the matter was finished.
Kizer said during the agenda hearing that his job was done, that he had collected the necessary evidence and would now “remain in the background and let (deputy attorney general) Christopher Eccles handle it from here.”
After Kizer said his active role of participation in the amended complaint filed by Eccles was finished, the commission deemed the motion to remove Kizer was moot, NSAC chairman John R. Bailey, of Las Vegas, confirmed following the hearing.
Although the motion was considered moot, Gilbert’s attorney – Reno’s Mark Schopper – said he and his client were satisfied.
“In essence, we got what we asked for,” Schopper said. “The commission assured us that Keith Kizer would no longer be involved in the process, nor will he be making media statements.”
In his motion, Schopper accused Kizer of having prohibited ex parte communication with Gilbert’s expert witness (forensic toxicologist Dr. Robert Voy), defamation of character, willful or grossly negligent filing of an allegation, and abuse of power.
In particular, Schopper said Kizer was irresponsible with his statements to the media, something Schopper said damaged Gilbert’s reputation.
The 31-year-old Gilbert, 16-1 with 12 knockouts, has been on temporary suspension since Sept. 21, when he scored a one-round technical knockout of Charles Howe at Grand Sierra Resort.
Gilbert, a former national collegiate champion for the University of Nevada, subsequently tested positive for six banned substances, including methamphetamine, amphetamine, nordiazepam, oxazepam, temazepam and Stanozolol metabolite, a steroid.
After Gilbert’s B sample tested negative, Kizer and the attorney general’s office dropped the methamphetamine charge.
Although Kizer will no longer be involved, Eccles will still pursue the charges on the five remaining banned substances.
“If it is determined the amended complaint is meritorious – if Mr. Gilbert is guilty of the charges – there are a number of different disciplinary actions the commission could consider,” Bailey said. “If the amended complaint is not meritorious, Mr. Gilbert will have been vindicated and there will be no disciplinary punishment.”
Some of the disciplinary charges Gilbert faces are an indefinite suspension, license revocation, a $25,000 fine and having his victory over Howe declared a no-contest.
Gilbert was once the WBO’s fourth-ranked middleweight, but was stripped of his WBO-affiliated North American Boxing Organization (NABO) belt because of his failure to defend the title (during his suspension). He then fell out of the rankings.
The parties also moved closer to a hearing date for Gilbert, although one was not set.
The two sides will first have an informal meeting to expedite the discovery process, something Schopper said has been a sticking point and has caused a delay in the hearing process.
“We’re looking forward to the resolution of the discovery matter and resolving the case itself,” Schopper said.
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