Troy Ellerman Admits Leaking BALCO Documents, Chronicle Reporters Avoid Jail Time

Troy Ellerman, former lawyer for BALCO president, Victor Conte, has admitted to being the source of the BALCO grand jury documents leaked to San Francisco Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-wada.

In court papers filed Wednesday, Ellerman agreed to plead guilty to four felony counts of obstruction of justice and disobeying court orders, to spend up to two years in prison and pay a fine of $250,000.

As part of the plea, federal prosecutors will cease all attempts to put the reporters in jail for failing to reveal Ellerman as the leak.

A judge still has to approve the terms of the plea agreement; no hearing date has been set.

Conte was quick to comment in an e-mail to the associated press.

“I find the fact that Troy Ellerman has admitted to leaking the BALCO grand jury transcripts to be outrageous. This man was an officer of the court who was highly paid to provide the services of a criminal defense attorney. Instead, he chose to serve his own agenda and act in a way that was tremendously damaging to his own clients.”

Williams and Fainaru-Wada continue to decline comment on the situation. In a joint statement, the lawyers maintained their stance with regard to the source of the documents.

“As we have said throughout, we don’t discuss issues involving confidential sources.”

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