Local Appointed Deputy Commissioner
Two years ago Queensbased attorney Keith Sullivan secured a significant court victory against the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) on behalf of former lightweight boxing champion Joey Gamache. The commission was found guilty of negligence for failing to properly carry out its duties and responsibilities while conducting the weigh-in for Gamache’s fight with the late Arturo Gatti at Madison Square Garden in February 2000.
On September 22, 2012, the 39-year-old Sullivan attended his first event as a deputy commissioner of the NYSAC, a pro boxing card at the Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, Queens. The commission, which operates under the auspices of the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, oversees all professional boxing and wrestling in the state.
“I am elated with my new position,” said Sullivan, a Rockaway resident and partner in Sullivan and Galleshaw, LLP, which specializes in personal injury, criminal defense and commercial litigation. “Chairwoman Melvina Lathan, Director of Boxing, Ralph Petrillo, and the entire staff of the NYSAC have set a new standard of excellence in running an athletic commission. I want to help make it the commission by which all others are measured.”
Sullivan, whose father Thomas is a retired NYPD detective sergeant, and whose mother Denise is a schoolteacher, also serves as pro bono legal counsel for the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), the Veteran Boxers Association, Ring 8, in New York, and the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation. He is also a regular television guest on Fox News.
Besides negotiating a professional contract for light heavyweight Marcus Browne of Staten Island, who represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Sullivan and his law partner have raised $30,000 for the U.S. War Veterans Wounded Warrior Project, and founded a promotional and event company, Cocktails 4 Charities, which donates 100 percent of its proceeds to charity. He continues to represent Merit Matters, a New York City Fire Department (FDNY) organization that is appealing a federal court ruling that has abolished merit-based hiring, and he recently did pro bono work for Sgt. Dakota Meyer, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner who was unable to take a recent FDNY exam because he was overseas fighting for his country.
Sullivan is especially excited about his NYSAC appointment because of former champion Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions commitment to deliver monthly marquee boxing to the new Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. He also hopes to explore the possibility of bringing Mixed Martial Arts to New York, one of the few states that does not currently allow it.
“The amount of work Keith does for others is astounding,” said Jack Hirsch, the president of the BWAA who is also a Rockaway resident. “I feel guilty because I count on him so much, and I could never do as much for him as he does for me and many other people. For years I have been urging him to run for public office. With his decency, integrity and strong work ethic, he would really serve the public well.”
“There is nothing I enjoy more than public service,” said Sullivan. “It makes me very happy to put in a hard day’s work doing something I love. People tell me how hard I work, but I always take exception with that comment. It’s an old cliché, but I love what I do so much I never even think of it as work.”