|Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy surrenders in New York City ahead of plea|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 15 August 2007 03:04|
NEW YORK (AP) -Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy surrendered Wednesday for his anticipated plea to gambling-related offenses, a person familiar with the probe told The Associated Press.|
Donaghy surrendered early Wednesday for an appearance Brooklyn federal court, the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, told the AP on condition of anonymity.
The charge to which Donaghy would plead was not immediately known. The timing of the court appearance is uncertain.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank told the AP on Tuesday that the league was informed Donaghy would take a plea on Wednesday, but was given no further information.
Besides allegedly placing his own wagers, investigators examined whether Donaghy provided inside information to others, including referees' schedules. The referee had a gambling problem and was approached by low-level mob associates through an acquaintance, a law enforcement official has said.
The FBI first contacted the NBA on June 20 to talk about a referee alleged to be gambling on games, and the two sides met on June 21, NBA Commissioner David Stern said last month. Donaghy resigned July 9 after 13 years as a referee, though Stern said he would have fired him sooner but was told it might affect the investigation.
Stern blamed a ``rogue, isolated criminal'' for the betting scandal that has devastated the league and threatened the credibility of every referee.
Donaghy was rated in the top tier of officials, Stern said, and there was nothing suspicious about the frequency of his foul calls. He was assigned to work in the second round of the playoffs, with his last NBA game coming during the Phoenix-San Antonio Western Conference semifinal.
No other NBA officials or players were expected to be involved in the scandal, which Stern called the ``most serious situation and worst situation that I have ever experienced either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or a commissioner of the NBA.''
Others outside the NBA also are expected to be charged.
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