Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Novitzky Traded

Steroid scourge Jeff Novitzky has moved from the I.R.S. to the F.D.A. It's a good deal for the F.D.A as, due to his release, they only have to pick up the prorated minimum for the remainder of the season.


Chris H. said...

This is a baffling move, as the I.R.S. has nobody at AAA Bureau of Engraving and Printing to take Novitzky's place, which means the I.R.S. will just sign some aging vet off the waiver wire.

Man, Brian Sabean is EVERYWHERE.

Pete Toms said...

If you think that Bonds has a huge bull's-eye on his ass as far as the feds are concerned, this nuggett from the linked piece should make you feel smug.

The piece quotes, " Dwight Sparlin, a retired I.R.S. manager who led the San Francisco office when the Balco case started nearly six years ago,"

as saying,

“For Jeff to go as far as he did in Balco was a stretch for the I.R.S., too. I think he was allowed to go a lot further than he would otherwise because of the impact.”

Am I Oliver Stone or does this indicate that the feds ( IRS ) interest in prosecuting BALCO was because of the superstar ( Bonds ) involved? In other words, was Bonds / BALCO investigated because of politics?

Or should I retire the bong for a few days...

Craig Calcaterra said...

No, I think you're absolutely right, Pete. In my experience (including a handful of cases representing public figures in the crosshairs of federal investigations) the agents are both inspired and encouraged to go the extra mile in order to land high-profile indictments.

This is not necessarily illegitimate, mind you, as deterrants are important things to our legal system, and taking down well-known people does serve as a pretty healthy deterant for certain types of crimes.

The real issue is what constitutes "the extra mile." It's one thing if it's allowing an agent to keep spending taxpayer money on a thinner-than-usual case. It's quite another if it means turning a blind eye to investigative excesses or otherwise allowing a rogue to work outside of effective prosecutorial oversight.

Where Novitzky falls on this spectrum is an open question, but that he and others associated with him view taking down Bonds as a laudable objective is undeniable.