Prosecutors want judge to question Roger Clemens
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department asked a federal judge last Thursday to question star pitcher Roger Clemens about his knowledge of a potential conflict of interest his attorney may have involving former teammate-turned-prosecution-witness Andy Pettitte.
Prosecutors filed a memo suggesting questions U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton should pose to Clemens and his attorneys at a hearing on the matter yesterday in federal court in Washington.
They say the judge should ask the seven-time Cy Young Award winner if he understands that lawyer Rusty Hardin has a potential conflict because he briefly advised Pettitte shortly before the release of a report in December 2007 that said both players had used human growth hormone.
Prosecutors also want to make sure that Clemens’ attorneys have not revealed to him any information regarding their representation of his former teammate and asked the judge to ensure that Clemens still wants Hardin and his Houston-based firm to represent him.
Clemens denies that he used any performance-enhancing drugs. Pettitte has admitted that he did and said Clemens admitted privately to him that he did as well.
Clemens is scheduled to go on trial in July on charges of lying to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, and prosecutors are expected to call Pettitte as a witness against him.
The Justice Department has proposed a potential resolution could be to have Michael Attanasio, another Clemens defense attorney not affiliated with Hardin’s firm, cross-examine Pettitte. Prosecutors suggested Walton ask Clemens and his attorneys if they agree to that plan and proposed further questions for Hardin and Attanasio.
They suggested that Walton confirm with Hardin on the legal record that he gave Pettitte legal advice. And they want the judge to check with both defense attorneys to ensure that Hardin didn’t share any privileged information he got from Pettitte with Attanasio and ask about what screening measures they have to prevent exposure of such information to Attanasio throughout the trial.
Washington man sentenced for racial attack in bar
TACOMA, Wash. — The U.S. attorney’s office says a self-proclaimed white supremacist has been sentenced to 34 months in prison for a racially motivated attack on a black man in a Vancouver, Wash., sports bar last January.
Prosecutors say 25-year-old Kory Boyd of Vancouver was among three men who accosted the victim at Captain’s Sports Bar. The U.S. attorney’s office says the men punched the victim, dragged him behind the bar and threw glass bottles at his head, yelling “White power!” and using a racial slur.
Boyd pleaded guilty Nov. 9 to interference with a federally protected right. He was sentenced last Friday in federal court in Tacoma.
Co-defendant Zachary Beck is scheduled for trial March 21. The other defendant, Lawrence Silk, has pleaded guilty to malicious harassment and been sentenced to two years in prison.
The victim suffered minor injuries.
Ministers complain about slow payments
METAIRIE, La. — Sometimes chanting “Write the check,” about 40 black ministers and protesters gathered at a suburban New Orleans church, demanding faster action from the BP claims process.
Ministers said failure to pay fishermen and others affected by the BP oil spill has led to widespread suffering, as well as lower donations for area churches.
Monday’s protest occurred at Calvary Baptist Church in Kenner. Participants included the Rev. Vincent Fusilier Sr. of Terrebonne Parish, who said minorities, including American Indians and African Americans, along with low-income whites, are suffering due to the impact of the spill and slow claims payments. The protests come a week after claim fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg traveled to the Gulf Coast to hear complaints about the process.
UC Irvine says MLK Day menu was in poor taste
IRVINE, Calif. — A California university says it was bad taste to serve chicken and waffles on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Officials at the University of California, Irvine, say the menu of stereotypical black food was served on Jan. 17 — the first day of the school’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. symposium.
The dining hall advertised the meal as an “MLK Holiday Special.”
The co-chairman of the school’s Black Student Union and another student lodged formal complaints.
University spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon tells the Los Angeles Times that the cafeteria staff made a last-minute decision about the menu. She says the intention was to offer holiday comfort food. The company that runs the cafeteria says it will conduct cultural sensitivity training for its chefs and managers.
Black opera company performing in SC capital city
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A black opera company is performing in Columbia as part of the annual meeting of the state African American Heritage Commission.
Opera Noire performs Friday at the Township Auditorium to help begin Black History Month in February. Commission member Joy Young says it’s the first time in years that a black opera company has performed in the state capital.
The company was formed more than three years ago as a way to allow black performers to pursue operatic careers.
Members of the company have performed everywhere from the famed La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy to New York’s Metropolitan Opera.