The American Broadcasting Company yesterday named Michael Armstrong, former chief counsel for the Knapp Commission, which exposed police corruption in New York City, to head an investigation of the ABC net-work [WORD ILLEGIBLE] U.S. Boxing Championships.
In [WORD ILLEGIBLE] development, New York Gov. High Carey questioned as a possible [WORD ILLEGIBLE] of interest the involvement of [WORD ILLEGIBLE]. A Farley as chairman of the tournament committee. Farley also is chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission.
ABC said Armstrong is singularly qualified to direct an inquiry into "irregularities and possible corruption" in the tournament, Armstrong is a former Queens County district attorney and onetime chief of the securities fraud unit of the U.S. attorney's office in New York.
ABC suspended the tournament Saturday after weeks of charges of irregularities regarding the event were made by managers and boxing people.
In addition to Scott LeDeux's accusation that he was robbed of a decision, featherweight Kenny Weldon of Houston said a payoff of part of his purse was required to compete in the tournament, and a Texas policeman, Ike Fluellen, told The Post last week he was invited to participate and guaranteed a ranking even though he had not fought for 1 1/2 years.
As chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, Farley is paid $35,000 a year. As chairman of the tournament committee, Farley admits he accepted plane fare and hotel expenses from Don King Productions, sites around the country.
Gov. Carey was reportedly outraged by Farley's association with the tournament. He has demanded a report from Farley.
Carey could not be reached yesterday but his press secretary, James Vlasto, said from his Manhattan office, "The governor has indicated clearly that he is not happy. He is finding it difficult to comprehend - if he was - how the commissioner got involved in this type of activity.
"This is a state agency. Farley is chairman. He is in a very difficult position, not in the best interest of the commission. This would be like a utility commissioner being wined and dined by the heads of utilities.
"If raises a serious question of the possibility of a conflict of interest. But we will wait until we see Farley's report, then make a judgement,"
In a telephone interview with The Washington Post yesterday, Farley said he had just sent a memorandum to the "state of New York." Asked what it said, the chairman said politely, "I think my governor should have the privilege of seeing it first."
Asked to comment on whether or not his association with the tournament could be construed as a conflict of interest, Farley said, "No, I did it on my own time . . . on weekends. I was not paid a cent (other than expenses). In fact, it cost me money for meals and other things.
"I did it to help boxing . . . to get exposure for boxers in the lighter weights. I see no improprieties. Everybody is overacting. If we sit down and check the charges and correct any wrongdoings, the tournament can go on. There's always something wrong in boxing; it's been that way for years. If there are improprieties, those responsible should be ferreted out.
"Boxing will be better for this investigation. It will bring things out in the open."
Farley, as chairman of the tournament, engaged ring officials from around the country.
LeDoux, a heavyweight, charged ofter being decisioned by Johnny Boudreaux at Annapolis in February that ring officials were biased against some fighters and claimed consultants to promoter King controlled other boxers in the competition.
King has denied any personal wrongdoing, but Monday suspended three consultants to his firm.
LeDoux' manager, Joe Das Kiewicz, said that when his fighter later was slated to box in Madison Square Garden, he (Daskiewicz) was called into Farley's New York office and asked if he had a vendetta against King's tour nament. Daskiewicz said, "Farley tried to tell us to submit to the decision in Annapolis . . . that it was fair."
Farley substantiated Daskiewicz's remarks yesterday. "I didn't want a hassle. I asked him why not accept the decision. We disagreed."
Featherweight Weldon, of Houston, also has a grip against Farley. The commissioner supposedly arranged for George Kanter to pay back Weldon the $2,300 Kanter took from a $7,500 purse for getting Weldon into the tournament.
"We discovered that (Weldon had not been repaid)," Fairley said. "The trouble is that Kanter then took off for Europe with Emile Griffith for a fight. There is not much I can do about that. Kanter is not licensed in New York (he is mostly a booking agent, but manages some American boxers when they fight abroad)."
Farley said he can hold no hearings on the tournament as New York commssioner because none of the fights were held in New York. The next two series of bouts were scheduled for New York.