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New York attorney to lead review of NBA referees

8/21/2007 - NBA

The NBA on Tuesday chose former federal prosecutor Lawrence B.
Pedowitz to oversee a review of its policies regarding gambling and
its referees in the wake of the Tim Donaghy scandal.

Pedowitz and his partners at the New York law firm Wachtell,
Lipton, Rosen & Katz will study the NBA's antigambling efforts, as
well as the processes the league uses to hire, train and monitor
its officials.

"There is nothing as important as the integrity of our game and
the covenant we have with our fans," commissioner David Stern said
in a statement. "In order to preserve their trust, we will make
every effort possible to ensure that our processes and procedures
are the best they can be."

The league's entire referees program came under scrutiny after
Donaghy pleaded guilty to betting on games, including some he
worked, and providing inside information to others to help them win
bets.

ESPN Radio in New York reported last week that Donaghy was set
to name as many as 20 other referees who took part in gambling
activity, though not necessarily criminal. The NBA forbids its
officials from any type of betting, except for offseason trips to
the race track.

Officials are allowed to attend shows at a casino during the
offseason, but may not be in the gaming area. Referees who violate
the policy could be fired.

Though other referees may have violated its gambling policies,
the league maintains that Donaghy is the only one who did anything
illegal.

"There have been allegations that other referees violated NBA
rules prohibiting casino gaming and the like, but it remains our
understanding that Tim Donaghy is the only referee who bet on NBA
games," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Monday.

Pedowitz's team will interview referees, players, coaches and
other league personnel during its review.