The Hearst Corporation, the owner of 12 dailies, including The San Francisco Chronicle, is suing the Federal government, asking for the information from Kirk Radomski that they released to former Senator George Mitchell, who is conducting an independent investigation into performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.
The Hearst Corp. argues that Mitchell is a private citizen, and therefore, when the government released the Radomski information to him, the public is allowed access, as well. As reported by the NY Times:
“You don’t have two tiers of persons in this country,” Eve Burton, the vice president and general counsel of the Hearst Corporation, said yesterday. “The minute they go to Mitchell, they are public. He is a private person, who is being paid hundreds of dollars an hour to do a private investigation.”
The government, through its investigation of Radomski, had uncovered the names of 36 current and former players to whom he had supplied drugs. When a search warrant from the case — which originally included the names — was unsealed April 27, the day Radomski pleaded guilty, the names of the athletes were blacked out.
That day, lawyers at the United States attorney’s office said evidence from Radomski would be turned over to the special commission set up to examine the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball on an item-by-item basis. Radomski also agreed to talk to investigators for the commission chaired by Mitchell, who was appointed by Commissioner Bud Selig.
The article quotes several members of the academic community that conclude the government undercut their ability to shield the information by unsealing the documents, and releasing them to Mitchell, who is no longer serving in a government capacity.
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