Government asked to explain why it unsealed implicating sworn statements
NEW YORK -- Hearst Corp. wants the federal government to explain why it unsealed a sworn statement containing names of players implicated by former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski after telling a court the information had to remain secret.
In a four-page brief filed Friday with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Hearst said the government "may have been violating the very same sealing order it was defending" when it gave former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell permission to publish the names of players accused of using performance-enhancing drugs by Radomski. Hearst contends they were the same names contained in the affidavit of IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky.
When Novitzky's Dec. 2005 affidavit was initially made public in April, names of the players he implicated were blacked out. Hearst, on behalf of the San Francisco Chronicle and Albany Times Union, went to court in June asking that the complete affidavit be made public.
The U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco and the Major League Baseball Players Association opposed the request, and in September U.S. District Judge Thomas C. Platt in Central Islip ruled there was no public right to the names.
On Dec. 21, eight days after Mitchell's report on drug use in baseball was released, the government unsealed the affidavit. A day earlier, it unsealed another Novitzky affidavit in Arizona involving pitcher Jason Grimsley.
Although the government now says keeping the names secret no longer is necessary because Radomski's cooperation was substantially complete, Hearst said the government told the district court the statement should be kept secret because it needed cooperation of those named in the affidavit.
Hearst and the MLBPA also are upset they never had the chance to respond to the motion to unseal the affidavit.
"This represents yet another instance of the government playing fast and loose with the courts and the rights of others," Hearst said.
Hearst wants the case sent back to district court for the government to explain why it didn't give notice of its motion to unseal and "to account for the disparity between its representations to the court."
"The public's right of access cannot coexist with government efforts to limit or control disclosure of judicial records through means of selective disclosure, much less where premised on representations that cannot be squared with the facts," Hearst said.
Calls to the U.S. attorney's office and a lawyer for the MLBPA were not immediately returned.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Cubs legend Banks memorialized at service
- Report: Richards, Angels agree on $3.2M deal
- Nats' Werth to serve 5 days for driving 105
- Minaya leaves Padres to be MLBPA adviser
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
THE MITCHELL REPORT
The Mitchell report• Mitchell delivers his report | Read it (pdf)
• Players: Who's named in the report
• Recommendations from the report
• Report reaction: What they're saying
• Drugs listed in report | The Dope On Steroids
• Evidence may limit Selig's punishment choices
• Mitchell defends naming stars in report
• Owners praise Selig, support extended tenure
• Seligs hopes to finish review by spring
Clemens news• Reports: New name surfaces in Clemens saga
• Date set for Clemens, McNamee depositions
• McNamee unlikely to get congressional immunity
• Mitchell reportedly tried to contact Clemens twice
• McNamee's attorney defends immunity request
• Source: Clemens hedges on giving deposition
• Report of Clemens abscess raises more questions
• Astros unsure if Clemens to help at camp
• Clemens' accuser meets with federal prosecutors
• Rocket reps: McNamee 'avoiding' being served
• Source: No immunity expected for Clemens
• Laywer: McNamee 'avoiding' being served papers
• Clemens denies steroid use in taped conversation
• Trainer's lawyers alert Congress to second tape
Pettitte news• Pettitte undecided if he'll testify before Congress
• Pettitte gets new lawyer for congressional hearing
• Pettitte admits using HGH in 2002
Grimsley/Radomski documents• Unsealed documents: Radomski | Grimsley
• Federal agent Jeff Novitzky's sworn affidavit
• Watson denies allegations in Grimsley affidavit
• Hearst wants goverment. to explain conduct
Other News• Players, owners try to modify drug agreement
• Fehr: Foreign players deserve equal drug penalties
• Pujols bans TV station that erroneously named him
• MLB establishes drug investigations unit
• Report: Knoblauch ends silence on steroid report
• Kent: Players should undergo blood testing
• Rose investigator says Mitchell undermined report
• Report: Congressional hearing postponed
• MLB to crack down on clubhouse security
• Congressman blasts Selig on steroids policy
• Report: Players may still testify at hearing
• Report: MLB players won't testify for Congress
• Rose says users 'making a mockery' of game
• Selig defends baseball's drug-testing program
• Post-'03 cases face most MLB scrutiny
• Congress calling new hearings on steroids, HGH
• Report: Deal with feds led to McNamee testimony
• Report: Roberts admits one-time steroid use
• Nats prez: Team had no advance copy of report
• Indians' Byrd discusses HGH use with MLB
• Vina admits HGH use, but disputes steroid claims
• MLB's man: Progress in urine test to detect HGH
• O's respond to Mitchell findings
• A-Rod's reply to Canseco: I never doped
• Bush: MLB must take report seriously
• Pujols sets record straight on inaccurate report
• Reliever Donnelly 'sick' over inclusion in report
• Former D-back Cabrera denies using steroids
• Lowell calls for stronger steroid testing
Analysis• Munson: Delay means Congress serious
• Wojciechowski: Rocket's logic fizzles
• Assael: Clemens throws up and in at McNamee
• Munson: Clemens' lawsuit is part propaganda
• Olney: There's one thing Clemens can't change
• Crasnick: A tale of two Rockets on "60 Minutes"
• Neyer: Time to stop behaving like a child
• Bryant: Odds are against Clemens in interview
• Munson Q&A: Clemens, McNamee on the hot seat
• Neyer: Investigate all players
• Wojciechowski: Time for Clemens to speak up
• Neyer: Does HGH enhance performance?
• Hill: Pettitte's apology was a joke
• Stark: Pettitte no different than Pats' Harrison
• Stark: Clemens, Bonds tales similar, yet different
• Bryant: Selig must address steroids era records
• Santangelo admits HGH use; will 'face the music'
• Helyar: Not good for short-term business
• Fish: Baseball's steroids crisis management
• Crasnick: Clemens' Hall of Fame chances?
• Gammons: Drug culture quite slimy
• Hall of Fame voters speak out on Clemens
• Stark: Indelible impact on the game
• Wojciechowski: Thaw needed in cold war
• Bryant: Mitchell report flat without feds
• Fainaru-Wada: Report sheds light on Bonds
• Crasnick: Recently acquired players named
• The man behind Clemens, Pettitte bombshells
• Munson: Legal challenges troublesome
• Fish: Congress reacts quickly to report
• Helyar: Anti-doping experts don't agree on report
• Nelson: Fehr, MLBPA kept in dark on report
• Neyer: Non-surprising names
• Neyer: Scout's telling take on Gagne
Video• Complete coverage
Audio• David Justice on The Herd
• Best of Mike & Mike, on report's fallout
• PTI discussion over report's release
• Michael Kay Show
• ESPN.com's Keith Law
SportsNation• SportsNation reacts to Mitchell report
• What do you think of it?
• Fan blogs: How fans are reacting
More• Mitchell investigation timeline
• Kirk Radomski timeline
• List of suspended MLB players