Friday, July 13, 2007

Lawyer Sent to Jail For Testimony Leak

From AFP via Yahoo! News:

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Troy Ellerman, a defense lawyer in the BALCO steroid scandal, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Thursday for leaking secret testimony from star athlete witnesses to the media.

Ellerman, 44, had pleaded guilty in February to contempt of court, obstruction of justice and making false statements after allowing a San Francisco Chronicle reporter access to transcripts of grand jury testimony by baseball star Barry Bonds and other athletes embroiled in the BALCO steroids investigation.

Ellerman, who at the time represented BALCO Vice President James Valente, then complained about the leaks in court.

US District Judge Jeffrey White said Ellerman's actions "infected every aspect of the judicial system."

BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, was accused of producing and supplying performance-enhancing substances to top athletes in one of the worst scandals in sporting history.