ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)
IndianaPacers general manager and Portland Trail Blazers GMcandidate, David Morway, who is expected to meet with owner Paul Allen today, has an interesting past that found him beingsued by one of his former clients back when he was an agentrepresenting professional athletes.
This2005 San Diego Union-Tribune reports former San Diego Padres pitcherGreg W. Harris, filed a lawsuit against Morway for fraud andracketeering in 1999 and an undisclosed settlement was agreedupon. Soon after, Morway left the agent business and joined thePacers' staff the following year.
Inthe suit, Harris accused Morway and his former agency, ProfessionalExcellence in Sports, of accepting 40,000 from Dr. Gary Losse inexchange for the agency's referral of clients to Losse if they neededorthopedic care. The suit contends that Harris, unaware of thisfinancial arrangement, took the agency's advice and ended up withfurther problems on his right shoulder. He never pitched again andsuccessfully sued Losse for malpractice, winning amultimillion-dollar verdict in 1999.
Losseis no longer practicing medicine. He was fired by the San DiegoChargers as the team's physician in 1998 after it was discovered he struggled withprescription drug abuse.
Morway'sagent, Steve Kauffman, told CSNNW.com that he knew nothing of thisand refused to comment on anything further. BrentSchrotenboer,who reported this suit seven years ago, says he contacted the Pacersregarding this matter and they dismissed it.
Theallegations became even more serious as Harris claims he was swindledout of money from an individual Morway recommended he should trustwith his finances. Without Harris' knowledge, Morway allegedly received paymentfrom him as well.
Accordingto Harris' complaint, Morway's firm also unlawfully referred Harristo financial adviser John W. Gillette, who had previously invested40,000 with Morway's firm, unbeknown to Harris. Harris said morethan 1 million of his money was misappropriated by Gillette, who wassentenced to 10 years in prison in 1998 for swindling severalathletes out of more than 10 million.
Hall of Famer and former Padre Tony Gwynn, Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, and former Dallas Cowboys safety Darren Woodson are reported to have lost a substantial amount in dealing with Gillette.
Harris,who resides in North Carolina, pitched in the Major Leagues from1988-95 and basically claimed he was a victim of representation that misled him.
"Theagents led (Harris) to believe they were referring him to Losse, Popeand Gillette because of their superior qualifications when in fact,(the agents) had no basis to make any such representations, and thereal reason they made such referrals was because of their unlawfulkickback scheme," the complaint said.
Harris was eventually awarded 10 million in damages by a San Diego Superior Court jury alleging that a scam and conspiracy helped ruin his baseball career and Losse was found to be 50 percent responsible, Morway 20 percent, Gillette 13 percent, John S.Alder (former agent) 4 percent, and Harris 2 percent.
Morwayheld the role of Assistant to the President for the Padres from1985-88, focusing primarily on negotiations and contract analysis. Healso served as President of Professional Excellence Sports from1988-98 and represented over 75 clients.