Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Steroid Doc Prosecutor Accused of Tipping McMahons Says, ‘No Comment’

I emailed James J. West, the Harrisburg lawyer who, when he was U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, prosecuted Dr. George Zahorian, the steroid connection for Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, and dozens of wrestlers in the then World Wrestling Federation.

Linda McMahon has told The Day of New London, Connecticut, that her December 1, 1989, memo, was referring to West where it mentioned a tip from a government official at a fundraiser that Zahorian was under investigation. West has denied tipping the McMahons’ lawyer, Jack Krill.

In an April 10 interview, West told The Day’s Ted Mann, “Absolutely nothing like that would have occurred.” West added that if the “fundraiser” in question had been a political event, then he, as a court-appointed federal prosecutor, would have been barred from attending it. “I can say that without equivocation.”

My attempt today to get West to say more, with or without equivocation, was unsuccessful.

“I am not commenting on something that happened 20 years ago,” he emailed back.

There are several rejoinders to this unsatisfactory response. First, West has already commented. Second, whether 20 years or 20 seconds ago, the allegation impacts a candidacy for the United States Senate. Then, of course, there’s this: the suggestion that a prosecutor gave the game away to a potential target is plenty serious, in and of itself.

Next: The Linda McMahon memo story has left only a few open questions – the five W’s.

Irv Muchnick

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