Tagliabue holds Saints bounties hearing in D.C.; Gregg Williams is to participate

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams of the New Orleans Saints talks to Jonathan Vilma (51) during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Louisiana Superdome on Oct. 31, 2010 in New Orleans, La. Photo by Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images

WASHINGTON Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and lawyers for the league and the players' union have arrived for a hearing in the Saints bounties case.

Tagliabue is overseeing the latest round of player appeals in Washington.

Former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo, a key witness in the NFL's investigation, is scheduled to speak Thursday. Former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is to participate in Friday's session.

Williams, who is at the center of the Bountygate scandal, had rebuffed requests to take part in the process, but the league has compelled him to do so, with his reinstatement hanging in the balance, sources told CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora. Williams is now with the Rams, but is banned from any interaction with the team. Former Saints employee Mike Cerullo, the whistle blower in this case, is taking part Thursday, sources told La Canfora.

Two Saints players who were suspended, linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith, had said they plan to attend when Williams is there.

Vilma's lawyer attended Thursday's hearing at an office building.

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