|Judge denies Hearst motion for names in baseball steroids case|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 14 September 2007 16:52|
In an eight-page decision Friday, U.S. District Judge Thomas C. Platt in Central Islip ruled there was no public right to the names, contained in a December 2005 sworn statement by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky used to obtain a search warrant for the home of former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski.
``Requiring public disclosure would have a negative effect on the government's effort to investigate criminal conduct,'' Platt wrote.
Hearst, on behalf of the San Francisco Chronicle and Albany Times Union, said that since Radomski had supplied the names to baseball steroids investigator George Mitchell as part of Radomski's plea agreement with the government, the names should be made public.
``Public access to the names of baseball players with whom Mr. Radomski is associated ... has no role in the oversight or functioning of the judicial and law-enforcement processes,'' Platt wrote.
The government and the Major League Baseball Players Association opposed Hearst's application, which was filed in June.
``There is no tradition of public access to the names of unindicted third parties and to specific personal identifying information where disclosure of this information is sought by the public,'' Platt wrote. ``Additionally, there is no traditional right of public access to search-warrant materials nor is there a traditional right for the public to attend search-warrant proceedings.''
Jonathan Donnellan, a lawyer for Hearst, did not respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
In July, a federal magistrate judge in Phoenix rejected a request by The Associated Press to reveal the names of players in another Novitzky affidavit that claimed they were implicated in drug use by former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley.