NFL Hires Democratic, NAACP Operative To Investigate Patriots’ Balls

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

The National Football League (NFL) announced Friday that it has hired super-lawyer Ted Wells to investigate the New England Patriots’ deflated ball scandal.

Wells is a former general counsel of the New Jersey Democratic Party and a campaign treasurer for liberal Democrat Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign and is a major official at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Wells is a partner at the New York-based mega firm Paul, Weiss. Wells previously worked for the NFL to investigate the Miami Dolphins’ 2014 “hazing” controversy, producing a 144-page report that concluded that player Richie Incognito hazed a teammate.

The media is fanning the flames of reports that 11 of 12 of the Patriots’ game balls were inflated to less than 12.5 pounds per square inch during the first half of New England’s AFC championship win. Referees had approved the balls for play more than two hours before the game, then replaced them at halftime when they were found to be out of compliance. There was erratic weather during the game.

The Patriots are facing off in the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks, a team owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Allen has earned direct praise from President Obama for his philanthropic work including brain science research credited with “paving the way for…President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative.” Allen was also recently praised by the State Department for contributing to Ebola funding, including giving a grant to the CDC Foundation. The Seahawks are coached by 9/11 conspiracy theorist Pete Carroll, who Bill Clinton recently said would make a good president.

“The investigation is being led jointly by NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and Ted Wells of the law firm of Paul Weiss. Mr. Wells and his firm bring additional expertise and a valuable independent perspective,” the NFL announced. “The investigation began promptly on Sunday night. Over the past several days, nearly 40 interviews have been conducted, including of Patriots personnel, game officials, and third parties with relevant information and expertise. We have obtained and are continuing to obtain additional information, including video and other electronic information and physical evidence. We have retained Renaissance Associates, an investigatory firm with sophisticated forensic expertise to assist in reviewing electronic and video information.”

Wells did not immediately return a request for comment.

Follow Patrick on Twitter