Posey’s lawyer: Posey ‘hasn’t done anything wrong’
Published: Saturday, October 8, 2011
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 22:06
Suspended Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey's attorney provided documents to The Lantern claiming that drive time, as well as phone records, bank activity and timecards are evidence that Posey wasn't overpaid to the extent of a five-game suspension.
Larry James, an attorney with Crabbe, Browne & James LLC, who is paid by OSU for representing Posey, spoke with The Lantern Saturday in his firm's downtown office about the NCAA's announcement Friday that Posey would be suspended five games for receiving money for work he didn't do from former booster Robert DiGeronimo.
OSU did not immediately provide The Lantern with information pertaining to how much James is paid.
Posey was originally scheduled to return to play Saturday at Nebraska after being suspended five games for the "Tattoo-gate" scandal. However, OSU athletic director Gene Smith announced on Oct. 3 that Posey would be suspended at least one additional game, before the NCAA's ruling Friday that Posey must actually sit five more games.
OSU lost to Nebraska on Saturday, 34-27. OSU receivers only caught six passes on 18 total attempts between quarterbacks Braxton Miller and Joe Bauserman for 108 yards.
DiGeronimo employed Posey at Independence Excavations and Valley Laser Car Wash near Independence, Ohio, from June 18, 2009, through March 20, 2011. OSU and NCAA enforcement staffs concluded that Posey was paid for 70 hours of work, despite only working 21.5 hours. He was overpaid by 48.5 hours and $727.50.
Posey is being ordered to pay that figure back as part of the NCAA's ruling. James said he has "never seen any process like this whatsoever" in regards to the NCAA's investigation of Posey.
In an Oct. 5 letter from James' firm to the NCAA reinstatement staff, James said the athletes "did not know the precise method by which their wages were being calculated" and that Posey "had no reason to believe that his wages may have been miscalculated or that he may have been overpaid."
DiGeronimo said in a June 29 letter to James that all athletes were paid $15 an hour, a rate he said was comparable to his shop employees but less than what local union members who do comparable work would be paid.
James argued that drive time to the Independence area from Columbus and back was included in Posey's compensation.
James said in a letter dated Sept. 30 to Doug Archie, OSU's associate athletic director for compliance, that the days and hours Posey worked were incorrectly reported. Independence Excavating originally reported that Posey worked 10 hours the week ending March 27, 2009, 24 hours the week ending June 18, 2009, 20 hours the week ending Feb. 19, 2010 and 16 hours the week ending March 25, 2011.
According to the letter, the hours should have been reported as 10 hours, 11 hours, nine hours and 16 hours, respectively, and Posey was paid for those hours. Each week incorporated driving time to Independence from Columbus and back as part of his compensation, which is normal for union employees.
Posey was paid a grand total $978.49 from DiGeronimo, which accounts for 65.23 hours of the 70 hours for which he was paid, assuming he was paid $15 per hour.
Posey also received $102 in impermissible benefits for a round of golf with Columbus photographer Dennis Talbott.
James also argued that phone records corroborate that Posey was in the Independence area working at the times he was supposed to be working.
Phone records show Posey made and took phone calls from Independence, as well as surrounding cities West Salem, Ashland, Cleveland (where Posey stayed with running back Dan Herron the week ending March 25, 2011), Broadview, Beachwood, Medina, Mansfield, Brecksville, Warren and Cuyahoga Heights, among others during the weeks in question while he was supposed to be working.
However, the letter states the reason why calls were traced to a multitude of cities is because the two Independence Excavation locations and the car wash at which he worked, Valley Laser Car Wash, are all located a mile from each other in Valley View, Ohio, which is north of Independence.
The letter also states that the calls could have been traced from antennas outside of the area because the nearest Verizon towers where Posey was making calls from may have been experiencing high call volume.