|Matt Walsh's lawyer asks NFL to protect his client on Spygate tapes|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 15 February 2008 15:45|
Attorney Michael Levy said that to date, the NFL's initial proposals are not sufficient protection for Walsh, who is said to have taped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough practice the day before they played the Patriots in the 2002 Super Bowl. The Patriots won 20-17.
``Under our proposal, Mr. Walsh is only protected if he in good faith is truthful. And he will be,'' Levy told The Associated Press on Friday in a telephone interview from his office at the Washington law firm of McKee Nelson.
iation and litigation. To best serve the interest of the public and everyone involved, I am hopeful that the NFL will do so promptly.''
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he's offered Walsh a deal whereby ``he has to tell the truth and he has to return anything he took improperly'' in return for indemnity.
``No one wants to talk to Matt Walsh more than we do,'' NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Friday.
``But his demand to be released from all responsibility even if his comments are not truthful is unprecedented and unreasonable. The NFL and the Patriots have assured Mr. Walsh's lawyer that there will be no adverse consequences for his client if Mr. Walsh truthfully shares what he knows. Why does he need any more protection than that?''
Walsh, now a golf pro in Maui, did video work for the Patriots when they won the first of their three Super Bowl after the 2001 season.
Goodell said Walsh was not interviewed as part of the NFL's investigation into ``Spygate,'' which involved the NFL confiscating tapes from a Patriots employee who recorded the New York Jets' defensive signals from the sideline during the opening game of the 2007 season.
As a result of that investigation, New England coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was fined $250,000 and forfeited its 2008 first-round draft choice.
destroyed by the league. Goodell has defended the destruction of the tapes.
Levy, who is continuing to negotiate with the NFL on Walsh's behalf, also objected to NFL security's investigation of his client.
``Sending a former FBI agent to investigate his professional and personal life has not left Mr. Walsh feeling confident that the National Football League simply wants to encourage him to come forward with whatever information he has,'' Levy said.
Goodell met this week with Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter and disclosed for the first time that the taping may have gone back to 2000, when Belichick first became coach of the Patriots. The commissioner said Belichick told him in their meeting last September that he believed the taping was legal. ``We agreed to disagree,'' the commissioner said.
Specter, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary committee, said after the meeting that he would continue to investigate the taping episodes. He has said he also would like to speak with Walsh.
Goodell said he could reopen the investigation.
``If there is new information that is credible, new material that could be credible that would help us, yes, we'll look at it,'' he said.
Burling, the NFL's outside law firm, suggested the NFL might remain reluctant to meet Walsh's current terms.
``No responsible investigator would offer blanket immunity to a potential witness without a commitment that the witness will be truthful,'' Holder said. ``Any witness who refuses to make that commitment doesn't deserve immunity.''
NFL Football Writer Barry Wilner contributed to this report.