A federal judge has denied a prosecutor’s motion to compel the Angels to comply with a subpoena seeking information about members of the organization who may be distributing drugs.
The decision was announced on Thursday in a filing by the Angels in the US District Court in Fort Worth, Texas asking Judge Terry Means to unseal his order.
“In its motion, the Angels government baselessly accused the Angels Baseball of acting badly in relation to the government subpoena and investigation as a whole,” said the motion signed by team attorney Ariel Neuman. “These very public allegations by the US Department of Justice have unfairly and inappropriately defamed the reputation and brand of Angels Baseball and have garnered significant media attention.
“The order to deny the enforcement request makes it clear that the government’s allegations were baseless and that Angels Baseball acted correctly and lawfully.”
The filing, which says the order does not state why it was filed under lock and key, stated that the government is opposed to unsealing.
A prosecutor’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Neuman declined to comment.
The motion comes three weeks before the trial of former Angels communications director Eric Kay in connection with the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs from an overdose in Fort Worth is due to begin.
Kay is charged with conspiracy to possess the property with intent to distribute fentanyl since at least 2017 and distribute the fentanyl that resulted in Skaggs’ death in a Texas hotel room on July 1, 2019. Kay has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors summoned the Angels in late July – Kay’s trial was originally scheduled to begin in August before it was postponed to November 8 – and then accused the team of refusing in a strongly worded motion.
“Put simply, it takes a toll on gullibility to accept any assertion that the [Angels] … Organization has not had a single document, record or report for months after one of their jugs overdosed on a team trip and died, “the application submitted on August 23 said,” months after Kay had another Angel had confessed to clerk he was in [Skaggs’] Zimmer late June 30, 2019, and witness [Skaggs] Taking drugs; and for weeks after learning of allegations of drug distribution by employees within the organization. “
The Angels dismissed a judicial record alleging that the team “submitted thousands of pages of documents and an entire computer hard drive to the government in response to at least five subpoenas and requests for information” and “facilitated the interviews of numerous people” by its staff “during the only documents that were withheld due to legal confidentiality were withheld.
After the initial back-and-forth, the argument played out through a handful of sealed papers. The Angels’ motion, the first public filing in the case since September 21, argues that there is no need to keep the judge’s order secret.
“The resolution refers to two sealed documents, but the citations from those documents contain information that is otherwise publicly available through the parties’ other filings,” the motion states. “Unsealing would therefore not affect the original reasons that justified the sealing of other submissions related to the application.”