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Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

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  • Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_c...rg.html?page=1

    Ex-FBI big bets on Donaghy: NBA dirt charges true, Gambino squad vet says
    BY JOHN MARZULLI
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

    Saturday, August 2nd 2008, 11:57 PM



    The man who put away John Gotti, baby-sat Sammy (Bull) Gravano, raided an Al Qaeda bomb factory and helped uncover the NBA betting scandal says Tim Donaghy told the truth.

    Philip Scala, the recently retired FBI supervisory special agent in charge of the Gambino squad, which uncovered Donaghy's scheme of betting on basketball games he had officiated, said he believes the disgraced referee's claims that other refs were dirty.

    Scala, one of the most respected law enforcement officials in the metropolitan area and a tower of integrity in the bureau, spoke exclusively with the Daily News about his storied career.

    Donaghy, one of the most infamous turncoats he handled, came under withering criticism from the NBA for his allegations that other referees fixed the outcome of games.

    "He was as emotional and remorseful as I've ever seen a cooperator," Scala said, just days after Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in jail. "In the course of my relationship with him, I had the insight that he was intent on repaying his debt to society, restoring his family's faith in him and trying to make something better out of his life."

    Donaghy and his lawyer went to the government last year as soon as he learned the feds were on to him. He was subjected to grueling debriefings, then the feds set out to corroborate his claims by interviewing scores of people, including other referees.

    But when prosecutors wrote a letter to the federal judge outlining Donaghy's cooperation, defense lawyer John Lauro was outraged that the information about other NBA referees and officials had been omitted simply because no criminal charges were brought.

    "Donaghy, for some reason, looked up to me," Scala said. "He came to me one day and said, 'It means a lot to me if you could answer this question: Do you believe that I've told the truth?' I told him, 'I believe you.'

    "I wanted to know why he was asking, and he said, 'I'd appreciate it if you'd call my dad' - and I did that for him," Scala said.

    Donaghy's father, Jerry, a retired college basketball referee, also wanted to know if the FBI agent believed his son was telling the truth about everything.

    Scala said he was not merely offering his opinion of the disgraced referee, rather it was his informed assessment of his credibility after his unit - officially known as C-16 - conducted an exhaustive investigation.

    "Donaghy told us the truth. Sammy Gravano told the truth; Mikey Scars (Gambino capo Michael DiLeonardo) told the truth," Scala said referring to some of his infamous Mafia rats. "That doesn't mean everything they said ends up in an indictment."
    Scala, 58, fit, dapper and sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and mustache, has put together a consulting firm called Pathfinder that is collecting information about corruption in professional sports.

    He brings to the table nearly three decades of investigative experience spanning Gotti's assassination of Gambino boss Paul Castellano, the 1993 raid on an Al Qaeda bomb factory in Queens that earned him a citation for bravery and the takedown of 62 gangsters last February on racketeering charges.

    Scala, the son of a baker, grew up in Ozone Park, where his parents instilled the core values of hard work, sacrifice and earning an honest dollar.

    He attended Archbishop Molloy High School and later earned a master's degree in psychology from New York University and another in business from St. John's.

    His e-mail address includes the word "tough," but the soft-spoken Scala is a devout Catholic who attends Mass daily and opines on Aristotle's perspective on a life in balance: "Stupidity and cowardice are the extremes; the center is virtue and heroic bravery."

    "My belief is there's good in everyone," he said. "But I have been in contact with some people who became evil incarnate."

    Scala won't name the two or three folks in that hellish category, in part because one remains on the street. He remains tight-lipped on many subjects because he still retains "top secret" clearance from the government for consulting work.

    There will be some good war stories in a book he's working on, though.

    Here's one: After Gravano stunned the underworld by defecting, Scala was assigned to guard the prize witness in a hotel room on Governors Island.

    "We were watching TV and there was a piece on the nightly news about Jeffrey Dahmer," Scala recalled. "Sammy said, 'Look at this sick *******,' and an agent said to him: 'Sammy, you killed 19 people.'"

    The glib Gravano got the last word: "You can't compare me to Dahmer; what I did was business."

    The December 1985 night Castellano was gunned down in front of Sparks restaurant in midtown, Scala raced from his home in Queens to the scene where the powerful mobster lay dead in the gutter.

    The renegade killing of a boss without the permission of the leaders of the four other mob families was a "watershed" event, Scala said.

    Gravano solved the Castellano murder case against Gotti, and opened the floodgates for powerful turncoats as never before.

    Like Donaghy, DiLeonardo, a former capo and close friend of John A. (Junior) Gotti who has started a new life in the witness protection program, also left an impression on Scala.

    "I have respect for him now; not for him in his dark days," Scala said of DiLeonardo. "Redemption is possible, but some people need to spend the rest of their days in jail."

  • #2
    Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

    The guy is clearly an idiot. I mean, who could possibly believe Donaghy might actually be telling the truth?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

      It's been an hour and no one has disputed this? Shocking.
      Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

        Originally posted by Shade View Post
        The guy is clearly an idiot. I mean, who could possibly believe Donaghy might actually be telling the truth?

        Stern has proclaimed all is well with NBA officiating... now we're supposed to believe something different from this guy? How do we know he even has any credibility?

        Obviously, he's just another loon.

        -Bball
        Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

        ------

        "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

        -John Wooden

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

          Well, if this is so true... I'm sure the FBI is investigating it as we speak.
          ...Still "flying casual"
          @roaminggnome74

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

            I wonder if Stern will offer Scala a marketing job.
            The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

              Stern would be absolutely foolish to even acknowledge this. If he tries to say it isn't true, he's calling a guy with 30 years investigative experience in the top law enforcement agency in the world a liar. This is turning into the proverbial elephant in the room for Stern. The bigger it gets the worse he looks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

                Originally posted by travmil View Post
                Stern would be absolutely foolish to even acknowledge this. If he tries to say it isn't true, he's calling a guy with 30 years investigative experience in the top law enforcement agency in the world a liar. This is turning into the proverbial elephant in the room for Stern. The bigger it gets the worse he looks.
                It's hard to call someone's opinion a lie.

                It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

                Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
                Conference Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
                NBA Champions 1989, 1990, 2004

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                • #9
                  Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

                  sAfter watching the last 15 years of the NBA I've came to two conclusions, its obviously the most inconsistenly ref'd sport on the planet, and two, big markets always make it to the finals. Now whether the inconsistency is a matter of paid off refs, i think it is very feasible, but still debatable. An one could say the league is cheating for the big markets, but I can't see that. The league just favors them more. LOL.

                  For instance, if we signed Shaq instead of the Lakers, don't u think reggie would have got at least one ring? How come we don't ever make any Garnett/ Allen type of moves? Small markets suffer in the NBA.

                  Sad but true NFL>NBA which are both > baseball and soccer and hockey IMO, but man the NFL is the best sport on the planet IMO. I guess its apples and Oranges but Im starting to forget basketball exisits till February, and then College>NBA by far. Maybe I'm just a Pacers fanatic and they suck but the NBA is just lacking to me anymore. Im all for the shorter season. But where would the money come from? I dunno maybe have to raise ticket the same percent they cut the games but i think it would make for better basketball. The NBA is becoming an oudated league and this shows with such high interest in other countries. If NBA players can pick which league they play compared to which Team, then we will see more and more stars play abroad. Of course, alot of this could be driven by the weakness of the dollar and it could be just a fluke if our currency rebound anytime soon.

                  The NFL still holds the monoply on the worlds football talent, but with the changes in the world basketball scene, the NBA is fast becoming just another league. Kinda like soccer. And the just imagine if we don't get the gold after our brightest superstar gaurantees it? I dunno, I just don't like gaurantees, never have. It could make the NBA appear foolish and slightly inferior if we don't pull it off this year, because it is all NBA superstars.

                  The reason I state all of this is just to say that league may not be able to withstand if these allegations are true. Only time will tell. If history does indeed repeat itself we may see a new league created, and the rules all could change. but with the vested interests, this seems impossible. But who's to keep these franchises from joining another league?

                  Okay Im way too deep in this im stopping now.
                  Last edited by Midcoasted; 08-04-2008, 12:52 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

                    Originally posted by Kstat View Post
                    It's hard to call someone's opinion a lie.
                    I suppose, but you have to admit, it's a pretty well informed opinion from a guy who built his 30 year FBI career on honesty and integrity. If nothing else, it sure makes Stern's opinion that Donaghy is lying about the other referees involvement look shaky by comparison. If two guys have a different opinion about whether Donaghy is telling the truth or not, I'm gonna believe the one with 30 years of law enforcement, investigation, and interrogation experience.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

                      Originally posted by Kstat View Post
                      It's hard to call someone's opinion a lie.
                      I understand your thoughts on this, however this is the type of person who is called into court as an expert witness and his opinions are treated as facts.

                      I do want to point out to everyone one thing though.

                      Even if another Ref. or even a couple of other refs. are in on this, by no means does that indicate that the NBA sponsored or even knew of this.

                      However this is really starting to look bad overall as a few refs. may start going down with Tim on this.

                      Even if there is never proven anything about the NBA being involved, if even one more ref. is outed I would suspect that Mr. Sterns days as commisioner might be drawing to an end. I doubt the owners would fire him, however allowing him to retire might be suggested.

                      I know there are two sides to this arguement about whether or not the refs. are crooked or the games are fixed and I am still of the belief that the NBA had no knowledge of this.

                      But there is sure starting to be a lot of smoke coming up from the "more than one" camp and sadly a lot of times where there is smoke there is... well you know.


                      Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

                        Originally posted by Midcoasted View Post
                        I've came to two conclusions, its obviously the most inconsistenly ref'd sport on the planet, and two, big markets always make it to the finals.


                        That simply is not true by any measure. (First I guess I would need to know what your definition of Big Markets is. But just since just since 1990. Granted Bulls (6) and lakers (6)have been there a ton, but Jordan, Kobe and Shaq had a lot more do to with that than the refs.

                        San Antonio - 4 times
                        Portland - 2 times
                        Utah - 2 times
                        Indiana - 1 time
                        Pheinix - 1 time - was a pretty small market back in 1993
                        Orlando - 1 time
                        Seattle - 1 time
                        Cleveland - 1 time

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

                          As to the article, I have read it 2 times. First what specifially did Tim tell the truth about - no indication in the article what this guy thinks Tim told the truth about.

                          But lets assume the worst (which some of you love to do) Tim never claimed he was under pressure to fix games as to the NBA's wishes - he only said some vague reference to a game 7 years ago - a game he knew everyone would believe was poorly officiated

                          No smoking gun here

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

                            Originally posted by Unclebuck View Post
                            ...no indication in the article what this guy thinks Tim told the truth about...
                            But when prosecutors wrote a letter to the federal judge outlining Donaghy's cooperation, defense lawyer John Lauro was outraged that the information about other NBA referees and officials had been omitted simply because no criminal charges were brought.

                            "Donaghy, for some reason, looked up to me," Scala said. "He came to me one day and said, 'It means a lot to me if you could answer this question: Do you believe that I've told the truth?' I told him, 'I believe you.'

                            "I wanted to know why he was asking, and he said, 'I'd appreciate it if you'd call my dad' - and I did that for him," Scala said.

                            Donaghy's father, Jerry, a retired college basketball referee, also wanted to know if the FBI agent believed his son was telling the truth about everything.
                            Well I haven't read the article TWICE or anything crazy like that but I think it's pretty clear what the FBI agent believes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ex-FBI big believes Donaghy about others

                              Originally posted by travmil View Post
                              Well I haven't read the article TWICE or anything crazy like that but I think it's pretty clear what the FBI agent believes.
                              Yes, I understand that - but it is far from clear as to what Tim actually told the FBI (sure we know little bits and pieces, second hand) so this guy saying that he believes that Tim is telling the truth - I say OK, but that really tells me nothing until we know what Tim told the FBI.

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