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sac_town_23
08-05-2008, 12:54 AM
Ex-FBI big bets on Donaghy: NBA dirt charges true, Gambino squad vet says

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2008/08/02/2008-08-02_exfbi_big_bets_on_donaghy_nba_dirt_charg.html


The man who put away John Gotti, baby-sat Sammy (Bull) Gravano, raided an Al Qaeda bomb factory and helped uncover the NBA betting scandal says Tim Donaghy told the truth.

Philip Scala, the recently retired FBI supervisory special agent in charge of the Gambino squad, which uncovered Donaghy's scheme of betting on basketball games he had officiated, said he believes the disgraced referee's claims that other refs were dirty.

Scala, one of the most respected law enforcement officials in the metropolitan area and a tower of integrity in the bureau, spoke exclusively with the Daily News about his storied career.

Donaghy, one of the most infamous turncoats he handled, came under withering criticism from the NBA for his allegations that other referees fixed the outcome of games.

"He was as emotional and remorseful as I've ever seen a cooperator," Scala said, just days after Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in jail. "In the course of my relationship with him, I had the insight that he was intent on repaying his debt to society, restoring his family's faith in him and trying to make something better out of his life."

Donaghy and his lawyer went to the government last year as soon as he learned the feds were on to him. He was subjected to grueling debriefings, then the feds set out to corroborate his claims by interviewing scores of people, including other referees.

But when prosecutors wrote a letter to the federal judge outlining Donaghy's cooperation, defense lawyer John Lauro was outraged that the information about other NBA referees and officials had been omitted simply because no criminal charges were brought.

"Donaghy, for some reason, looked up to me," Scala said. "He came to me one day and said, 'It means a lot to me if you could answer this question: Do you believe that I've told the truth?' I told him, 'I believe you.'

"I wanted to know why he was asking, and he said, 'I'd appreciate it if you'd call my dad' - and I did that for him," Scala said.

Donaghy's father, Jerry, a retired college basketball referee, also wanted to know if the FBI agent believed his son was telling the truth about everything.

Scala said he was not merely offering his opinion of the disgraced referee, rather it was his informed assessment of his credibility after his unit - officially known as C-16 - conducted an exhaustive investigation.

"Donaghy told us the truth. Sammy Gravano told the truth; Mikey Scars (Gambino capo Michael DiLeonardo) told the truth," Scala said referring to some of his infamous Mafia rats. "That doesn't mean everything they said ends up in an indictment."

Sure were beating a dead horse here, but just wanted to throw this out. It constantly opens up new wounds, but you know....

DaddyCool
08-05-2008, 01:20 AM
I believe him. The refs has so much bad influence. The could make so much off betting games they officiate.

downsos
08-05-2008, 01:44 AM
I believe him, no way he was the only dirty one out there.

Kings Faithful
08-05-2008, 01:48 AM
I believe him too. You can't tell me only this one ref succumbed to the allurement of betting money on these games and fixing them. They are all men out there with the same weaknesses, to tell me that he was and is the only one is ludicrous. What angers me even more is the way Stern handled it. Instead of saying, "were looking into this, if there is a problem we will fix it", he blows it off and says, "PSHHHH dont worry, this guy's a phony you can't believe him". Screw Stern.