Lawyer for Donaghy's high school classmate expecting to be indicted
PHILADELPHIA -- The former operator of a suburban sports bar expects to be indicted in connection with the NBA betting investigation involving a referee who was his high school classmate.
James Battista went to Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Pa., at the same time as former referee Tim Donaghy, said Battista's lawyer, Jack McMahon.
"They're not strangers to each other, that's for sure,'' McMahon said. "They did go to high school together but two years apart.''
McMahon said prosecutors have not told him they plan to indict Battista, "but as a practical matter I know they are, and so we're just kind of in a wait-and-see position to when it comes down and what the exact allegations are.''
Battista had only "minor'' offenses on his record, including some kind of gambling offense, McMahon said.
"I know it was some kind of minor gambling,'' McMahon said. "I know he never went to jail, it was some minor, minor offense.''
Records from Delaware County's Court of Common Pleas indicate Battista was arrested on bookmaking and conspiracy charges in 1998 and was placed in a program that allows first-time offenders to expunge their record.
Asked whether Battista has been a bookmaker, McMahon declined comment "because that's part of the nature of the charge. At some point in time we'll have a response to that.''
McMahon also said Battista had at one time been the manager or owner of Marina's sports bar in Havertown. He declined comment when asked how Battista currently earned his living, saying it might prove relevant to the case.
Battista is from suburban Phoenixville, and a call to his home Friday rang unanswered.
Donaghy, who resigned his position July 9, has been the target of an FBI investigation for allegedly betting on games, including some he officiated, over the last two seasons. Donaghy, an NBA referee for 13 years, is expected to surrender to authorities by early next week.
Battista planned to surrender voluntarily if asked to do so by authorities, McMahon said.
"He's not running, he's not hiding,'' McMahon said. "He's going to face these charges and defend himself.''
Three other current NBA officials -- Joe Crawford, Ed Malloy and Mike Callahan -- also attended Cardinal O'Hara.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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TIM DONAGHY SCANDAL
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pled guilty to federal felony conspiracy charges alleging that he passed along inside information on NBA games.
Donaghy also alleges that referees helped alter the outcomes of games during the '02 and '05 postseasons.
He was sentenced to 15 months in prison in July.
News• Phoenix prosecutor wants federal files
• Donaghy's father says NBA must share the blame
• NBA's disclosure of own probe of officials on hold
• Adviser: Donaghy 'couldn't stop' gambling
• Two ex-classmates of Donaghy get prison time
• Report: Donaghy made calls to fellow ref
• NY prosecutors: Ref 'central' to NBA bet scandal
• NBA's restitution case vs. Donaghy questioned
• Donaghy lawyer: NBA trying to vilify ex-ref
• NBA ups Donaghy restitution figure to $1.4M
• Referee from alleged fixed game to work Game 5
• Ex-referee denies improper officiating claim
• Kings lament Donaghy's claims from 2002
• Report: Federal agents ask ex-ref about Bavetta
• NBA ref responds to Donaghy's 2002 claim
• 2002 playoff game at heart of allegations
• Stern allows some forms of gambling among refs
• NBA refutes report of refs disciplined
• Ex-ref Donaghy forfeits cash as part of plea deal
• Stern defends refs, vows to wait before punishing
• Ex-prosecutor counseled refs during FBI probe
• Attorney to lead review of NBA refs
• Report: Donaghy to talk about other refs
• Donaghy could face state charges
• Donaghy pleads guilty to felony charges | Docs
• Donaghy to plead guilty on betting charges
• Lawyer: Donaghy classmate expects indictment
• Congressman requests discussion with Stern
• Stern: Donaghy only referee believed to have bet
• Transcript of Stern's news conference
• Police called to Donaghy's home
• Report: Feds believe ref will cooperate
• Reports: NBA referee bet on games
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Stats• Donaghy's 2006-'07 game log
• Donaghy's 2005-'06 game log
Analysis• Munson: What happens on judgment day?
• Munson: Prison or no prison for Donaghy?
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• Stein: NBA has no quick fix for fixing charges
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• Sheridan: What next, Commissioner Stern?
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• Drehs: Expert finds funny numbers
• Broussard: Refs say it's isolated incident
• Katz: College officials fear lasting backlash
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• Drehs: Q&A with gambling expert
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• Observations on the Donaghy documents
• No specific mention of game-fixing
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• Reaction to Donaghy's guilty pleas
• Donaghy details from the Justice Department
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