WASHINGTON (AP) – Security guards at the federal courthouse in Washington are under investigation for accepting baseballs autographed by star pitcher Roger Clemens after his criminal trial.
The guards are not allowed to accept gifts from a criminal defendant. But the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement, first reported Tuesday by The Washington Post, that it appears up to six baseballs were given to a guard who distributed them to four or five colleagues.
The Marshals Service said it became aware of the allegations a week ago and immediately asked Pasadena, Calif.-based Inter-Con Security, the contractor that employs the court security officers, to investigate. Inter-Con chief operating officer Lance Mueller said the investigation is still ongoing and the company hopes to wrap it up soon, but the company has very high standards for not accepting gifts. “It’s unacceptable,” Mueller said in a telephone interview.
Clemens went through security just like any other member of the public entering the courthouse during the six days of his trial last month on charges of lying about using performance-enhancing drugs. But a team of security guards escorted him out of the building through a throng of media when Judge Reggie Walton suddenly declared a mistrial after prosecutors showed inadmissible evidence. Walton has yet to rule on whether Clemens should face another trial.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)