Report: Clippers' Gomes probed by feds

Published Dec. 21, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

Los Angeles Clippers forward Ryan Gomes has spoken to federal agents in Connecticut who are looking into possible corruption involving State's Attorney John Connelly, the Hartford Courant reported Tuesday.

According to the report, investigators are probing whether Gomes contacted Connelly in an effort to get a reduced prison sentence for his cousin, Keith Gomes.

Keith Gomes pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in 2007 and agreed to serve three years in prison. But Connelly approved a rare sentence reduction of six months.

Keith Gomes is scheduled to appear Tuesday before a grand jury that is investigating Connelly's relationship with Gomes' attorney, Martin Minnella. According to the report, federal investigators found that Connelly and Minnella went on multiple trips to Las Vegas together.

The probe is focused on whether Minnella charged clients extra because his relationship with Connelly could yield favorable treatment.

Keith Gomes was arrested in 2006 for stabbing a man in the chest in front of a Waterbury, Conn., funeral home. The first-degree assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Under the terms of a prior plea deal, Gomes would have served eight years in prison. But at his next court appearance, Connelly presented the judge with a new agreement for a three-year prison term.


Less than a year into his sentence, Gomes applied for sentence modification, which led to the six-month reduction. According to several local defense attorneys, Connelly rarely considers sentence modifications unless an inmate cooperated in a previous case.

Ryan Gomes is a native of Waterbury and starred at Providence College. He is in his sixth season in the NBA, following stints with Boston and Minnesota.