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Williams Pulls Possible Rival's Posting

Boxing Panel Reappointment Withheld After Media Appearances

By Yolanda Woodlee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 23, 2005; Page B02

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams has decided not to reappoint Michael A. Brown to the Boxing and Wrestling Commission, a move that came shortly after Brown announced that a major heavyweight fight will take place in June at MCI Center.

Brown, who is considering running for mayor in 2006, has served on the commission for nine years and was the vice chairman. On April 12, he announced that the District will host a fight between former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and Kevin McBride. After the announcement, Brown appeared on radio and television newscasts touting the fight as a major attraction and an economic boost to the city.

Lobbyist Michael A. Brown is considering a run for mayor in 2006.

In an interview yesterday, Brown said he had spent two years negotiating with promoters to arrange the fight.

The day after Brown's television appearances, Ronald R. Collins, director of the mayor's Office of Boards and Commissions, sent Brown a letter stating that his commission term was "officially concluded." Although Brown's term had expired in January, he could have been appointed to a fourth term or remained as a holdover until June.

Brown, a lobbyist who said he served on the commission without pay, said he had expected to be reappointed. He accused the mayor of "playing politics" with the boxing commission appointment because he is exploring a bid for mayor.

"I'm disappointed because [the boxing commissioners] were doing such a good job. But this is politics," Brown said. "He's playing politics."

Last month, the mayor notified Brown that he was not renewing his low-numbered license tag.

On March 29, Alfreda Davis, the mayor's chief of staff, notified Brown that his low-numbered license plate would not be renewed. When Marion Barry was mayor, he issued Brown the number 60 tag, and Williams reassigned him the number 43 after he was elected mayor.

Williams, who has not announced whether he will seek a third term, said earlier this week that he plans to start getting "some signals out" to donors and others this summer.

Vincent Morris, the mayor's spokesman, said Williams did not have a problem with the work Brown had done on the commission.

"The mayor is always looking for good new talent, and Mr. Brown has served honorably and well," Morris said. "But it was time to move the board in a different direction."

When asked about Brown's accusations, Morris said: "That's not what we're saying."

Brown, 40, was appointed to a three-year term on the commission by Barry in 1996. Williams has twice reappointed him to the three-member board.

Collins said the mayor likes to rotate board appointments to give others an opportunity to serve. He said the mayor has selected a replacement for Brown, but he declined to name the nominee. The mayor, however, is appointing the board's chairman, Arnold McKnight, for a third time. Appointments must be confirmed by the D.C. Council.

"I think his intentions are pretty clear," Brown said of the mayor. "He's gearing up to run. This clearly seems to demonstrate someone who is trying to slow down his competition. The problem is, he's slowing down the revenues of the District, too."

When he first came to the board, Brown said, the commission was hosting about three shows a year. It now hosts 15, including boxing and wrestling matches, he said.

"Last May, we had three boxing matches in one month," Brown said. "I can't imagine that had ever been done in the history of the city."

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