Updated at 2:54 p.m.
Security guards in the Washington federal courthouse are under investigation for accepting free baseballs signed by former baseball star Roger Clemens after a mistrial was declared last month in Clemens' perjury trial.
First reported this morning by the Washington Post, the U.S. Marshals Service has confirmed that between five and six security officers are under investigation after allegations surfaced that they accepted the gifts from Clemens' defense team in violation of their contract.
Inter-Con Security Systems Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based company that employs the guards and contracts with the court to provide security, is handling the investigation, according to U.S. Marshals Service spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue. A representative for Inter-Con could not immediately be reached.
A preliminary finding from Inter-Con indicated that one guard received up to six baseballs signed by Clemens the same day U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial in the case on July 14, according to Donahue. The guard then distributed the baseballs to between four and five other officers also working in the courthouse.
The investigation began on Aug. 9, after the U.S. Marshals Service became aware of the exchange and asked Inter-Con to investigate. Donahue declined to say who first brought the allegations to their attention.
Lance Mueller, chief operating officer for Inter-Con, confirmed that an investigation is ongoing but declined to discuss any details. He did say that the company “has very high ethical standards with our officers against accepting gratuities or gifts in any manner.”
Clemens' lead counsel, Rusty Hardin, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Walton declared a mistrial after federal prosecutors presented evidence that had already been ruled inadmissible at trial. Clemens' attorneys have argued against a retrial, and prosecutors are expected to file an opposition brief this month.