As Reggie Bush knows all too well, the folks at Yahoo Sports are becoming serious entrants in the snoop-stakes. From Yahoo’s Josh Peter.
The FBI has targeted a defense attorney for leaking confidential grand jury information linking Barry Bonds and other world-class athletes to alleged steroid use.
The defense attorney, Troy Ellerman (above), has been the subject of an FBI investigation, according to Larry McCormack, a former private investigator who worked on the BALCO federal steroids case and who said he was a co-tenant in an office with Ellerman in Sacramento, Calif., where they worked together on cases, at the time of the alleged leaks. Other sources have said they were interviewed by the FBI.
McCormack, who said he did investigative work on behalf of BALCO founder Victor Conte Jr. in the early stages of the case, said he told the FBI that Ellerman relayed confidential grand jury information to a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004.
“I felt it was wrong,” McCormack said of the leaks during a recent interview. “I said it was wrong from the get-go.”
Michael Rains, the attorney representing Bonds, said he doesn’t believe Ellerman leaked grand jury information or transcripts in part because, according to Rains, Ellerman would not have had access to some of the information that was reported by the Chronicle in 2005.
“I find that hard to believe to begin with, that Troy would do that,” Rains said Wednesday. “But obviously I don’t know the man very well, and the first time I met him was in connection with this case.
“I’ve always thought it was people within the government that have leaked this stuff ,and I still believe it.”
McCormack, recently fired from an organization that Ellerman leads, said that he spoke with the FBI about three months ago on the advice of an attorney, told the federal agents what he knew about the alleged leaks and cooperated with the subsequent investigation. McCormack said FBI agents met with Ellerman on Dec. 13 and later told McCormack that the investigation is complete and everything came out fine but disclosed little else.
McCormack said he agreed to talk to Yahoo! Sports because he was concerned about his own reputation in the rodeo industry and fears that he will be seen simply as disgruntled over his dismissal from a job Ellerman got him with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.