Sports

Lawyer: NBA's trying to vilify disgraced ref

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy says his client is being vilified by the league's demand for nearly $1.4 million in restitution in his gambling case.

In a letter filed Monday in Brooklyn federal court, attorney John Lauro renews his accusation that the league is trying to punish Donaghy for alleging that referee misconduct is rampant. That's something the NBA denies.

The NBA contends Donaghy should return his wages for games on which he bet or provided tips to gamblers. It also wants him to pick up a hefty tab from a law firm that interviewed dozens of other referees as part of the investigation.

A court hearing is set for Wednesday on the restitution issue. Donaghy is to be sentenced July 14.

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