Donaghy Fights NBA's $1.4M Bill

Says league wants to 'financially destroy' ex-ref for singing
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2008 12:53 PM CDT
The home of NBA official Tim Donaghy is seen Friday afternoon July 20, 2007 in Bradenton, Fla.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A lawyer for Tim Donaghy, the NBA referee who bet on games he officiated, has accused the NBA of going after his client in retaliation for statements that detracted from the NBA Finals, AP reports. "The message from the NBA is quite clear: If you cooperate in a federal investigation against the organization, we will take you out," John Lauro writes in asking the court to reassess the $1.4 million his client has been asked to pay in restitution.

Donaghy accused the league of fixing games, a charge commissioner David Stern characterizes as a "baseless" attempt by Donaghy to lighten his sentence. Lauro is asking the court to make the NBA produce more evidence to support the figure they've demanded  to cover legal fees, repayment of the disgraced ref's salary for the disputed games, and perks like free sneakers and game tickets.