Thursday, February 15, 2007

SF Chronicle Reporters Avoid Jail for Civil Contempt

The mystery about who leaked the grand jury transcript of erstwhile San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds has been solved, much to the relief of the two reporters who published stories based on the testimony.  Sacramento attorney Troy Ellerman, who at one time represented Balco founder Victor Conte in the steroids prosecution, agreed to plead guilty to permitting San Francisco Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada view the transcripts that had been produced as part of the pre-trial discovery in the case.  Williams and Fainaru-Wada were held in contempt for refusing to testify about the identity of their source of the transcripts that is part of a larger investigation of Bonds for perjury.  Their case was before the Ninth Circuit, and given how the appellate courts have ruled on such media confidentiality claims lately, the two reporters did not have a strong chance of avoiding jail.  As it is, they are now off the hook, and only Bonds'  former trainer, Greg Anderson, remains incarcerated for civil contempt for refusing to testify about steroid use by the baseball star.  At some point, a decision will have to be made about whether to move forward with a prosecution of Bonds or drop the case.  A story on ESPN.com (here) discusses the latest twist in the Bond perjury saga. (ph)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2007/02/sf_chronicle_re.html

Grand Jury, Investigations, Perjury | Permalink

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