Exclusive: Ex-NBA Ref's Attorney

Former NBA Referee Tim Donaghy walks with his attorney, John Lauro, in federal court in Brooklyn for sentencing. AP

CBS News Associate Producer Ariel Bashi wrote this story for CBSNews.com.

In an exclusive interview, Tim Donaghy's attorney John Lauro told CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian, that his client fully cooperated with the government's probe, providing new information about more widespread gambling inside the league.

"The government concluded that he was completely truthful, completely trustworthy and he also took a lie detector test and passed," Lauro said. "The league did not want to fully understand what Tim had to say about what was going on and as a result they attacked him repeatedly."

Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison and 3 years probation, significantly less than the maximum federal guidelines of 33 months. Lauro criticized the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Office for not pressing forward in the investigation.

"We were disappointed, naturally, that the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn didn't take further steps in terms of the investigation and we expressed that to the judge," he said.

In court papers filed during the recent NBA Finals, Donaghy alleged NBA referees were instructed by top league executives to manipulate the outcome of games in order to increase league ratings and revenue. A charge that NBA Commissioner David Stern called "baseless," saying it had been investigated and found without merit by the government.

When asked what could happen next, Lauro said he believes an independent investigation-much like the Mitchell report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball, would be appropriate.

By Ariel Bashi
  • Ariel Bashi

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