Attorneys for Pitino, U of L Athletic Association spar over evidence in federal court
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Another battle over potential evidence in federal court took place Friday in Rick Pitino's battle with the University of Louisville.
Attorneys argued about several issues for hours, but the focus was whether or not documents from a private investigator hired by Pitino's lawyers should be turned over to U of L.
The private investigator, Carl Christiansen, is a former FBI agent that Pitino's lawyers hired last September just as the FBI pay-for-play scheme surfaced. Pitino's lawyers told the judge Friday they instructed Christiansen to interview several people about the FBI investigation and the 2015 sex scandal involving strippers and prostitutes for players and recruits.
Attorneys for the University of Louisville Athletic Association argued that since Christiansen presented evidence as an expert during the U of L meeting ahead of Pitino's firing, all of his documents should be turned over as part of the discovery process.
Some of Christiansen's notes include interviews with former players and former assistant coach Andre McGee. Pitino's lawyers countered that the documents and information from those interviews are considered privileged.
"The larger context is this," Steve Pence, Pitino's lawyer, said in an interview. "The university is only now trying to put their case together. If you remember this time last year, they said they had everything they need to support firing Coach Pitino. And they're only now trying to put their case together and find that cause. And they're trying to use my investigator to build that case."
The judge told Pitino's lawyers to provide U of L a list showing the Christiansen documents they have and what they plan to turn over. He also instructed them to provide a more detailed explanation for any documents that are not submitted.
The judge told U of L lawyers to review that log, depose Christiansen as soon as possible and explore from there if any other motions need to be filed.
"We're making progress," said Barbara Edelman, who is representing the University of Louisville Athletic Association. "We have deadlines we're all trying to meet. And we're moving forward. No complaints as far as I'm concerned. And I'm looking forward to the court's rulings on our motions for summary judgment."
Pitino is scheduled to be deposed on Oct. 23. Pence told the judge the university has failed to provide former U of L commit Brian Bowen's letter of intent to him. U of L lawyers responded and said it would be provided as soon as possible.
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