Senator Reid Accused of Accepting Free Boxing Tickets - 8 News NOW

Chris Saldaña, Reporter

Senator Reid Accused of Accepting Free Boxing Tickets

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Nevada Senator and Minority Leader Harry Reid is accused of accepting free ringside seats to several boxing matches in Las Vegas. He claims he did nothing wrong.

It wasn't the big names in boxing, like Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins at this match in 2004 that has people talking today, it's Senators Harry Reid and John McCain.

Sen. Harry Reid, (D) Nevada said, "Ican't imagine howI can be criticized for wanting to help the State of Nevada."

This is one of many fightsSenator Reid is accused of accepting seats for without paying. He says he accepted the seats so he could learn how a proposed boxing bill could affect the Silver State's number one business.

Sen. Reid said, "I had to be at those fights. I wouldn't be doing my job. It's importantI come to talk to the committee. I talked to Marc Ratner who ran the organization for many, many years."

Marc Ratner was the executive director for the Nevada Athletic Commission when the free credentials were given to Senators Reid and McCain. McCain paid $1,400 for his seats.

While Ratner would not talk on camera, he tells Eyewitness News allowing government officials to sit ringside is something that has always been done as a courtesy.

Senator Reid does not understand what all the hype is about. "What conflict could there be? The athletic commission is from the State of Nevada. I'm a senator from Nevada. Am I going to be conflicted because I'm trying to work for the State of Nevada?"

Senator Reid says he's insulted with allegations that accuse him of taking seats for free. "I've been hit with a few accusations, but this one is beyond the pale. I would not be doing my job."

The Nevada Athletic Commission would not comment on the free credentials they say were issued. The commission says it has extended the same courtesy to Governor Kenny Guinn and governors from New Mexico and Arkansas.

Email reporter Chris Saldaña at csaldana@klastv.com

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