NBA Investigators Seek to Obtain Disgraced Ref's Phone Records

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Published July 21, 2008

| FoxNews.com

Investigators working for the National Basketball Association are seeking to obtain documents revealed by FOXNews.com to show frequent telephone conversations between disgraced referee Tim Donaghy and a second referee, Scott Foster, during the time Donaghy was providing inside information to professional gamblers.

Attorneys working with Lawrence Pedowitz, who was tapped to head up the NBA’s internal investigation of the gambling scandal last fall, have made numerous requests for Donaghy’s phone records — and for any additional sealed court documents relating to Foster, FOXNews.com has learned.

Last summer, NBA commissioner David Stern called Donaghy a “rogue isolated criminal,” and he has stuck to that statement ever since. But now, in the wake of FOXNews.com’s investigative report detailing calls from Donaghy to Foster during the 2006-2007 season, Pedowitz’s team is looking into the case.

Click here to read FOXNews.com's exclusive report, which was published Monday.

The phone records obtained by FOXNews.com showed that Donaghy made 134 phone calls to Foster between October 2006 and April 2007.

The majority of the calls lasted two minutes or less and occurred before or after games Donaghy officiated and on which he confessed to gambling.

During this period, Donaghy called Foster more times than he called his bookie. The only person Donaghy called more than Foster was Thomas Martino, the “middleman” whom Donaghy called 150 times. Martino role was to pass on the ref’s picks to bookie James Battista.

The NBA and the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment on the NBA investigators' new interest in Donaghy’s phone records. Calls and emails to Pedowitz for comment were not returned.

Last week, Tim Frank, NBA Vice President of Basketball Communications, told FOXNews.com, “Lawrence Pedowitz’s review is ongoing.”

In response to the FOXNews.com report published Monday, Frank released a second statement:

"The government had complete access to Tim Donaghy's phone records and thoroughly investigated this matter, including conducting an interview of referee Scott Foster. The government has said that they have found no evidence of criminal conduct aside from that of Mr. Donaghy. Once again, the only criminal conduct is that of Mr. Donaghy."

Foster, 41, is a 14-year veteran of the NBA and a former close friend of the disgraced ref.

He officiated Game 1 and Game 5 of the recent 2008 NBA Championship series.

When reached by FOXNews.com, Foster declined to comment on his relationship with Donaghy and the nature of those phone calls.

When asked if he was currently under investigation by the government or NBA, Foster told FOXNews.com, “Not that I know of.”

Donaghy, 41, is awaiting sentencing in Brooklyn Federal Court on July 29. He faces up to 33 months in prison.

Martino of Boothwyn, Pa., and Battista of Phoenixville, Pa., have pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from their involvement in Donaghy’s gambling scheme. The pair face up to 18 and 16 months in prison respectively when they’re sentenced July 24.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/07/21/nba-investigators-seek-to-obtain-disgraced-ref-phone-records