Ted Wells, who was assigned to head up the Deflategate investigation, discussed his report on a conference call on Tuesday and defended himself against assertions that he was anything less than independent in his findings.
“The conclusions in the report represent the independent opinions of me personally and my team,’’ Wells said. “And those conclusions were not influenced in any way, shape or form by anyone at the league office. We made a fair and reasonable review of the evidence, and we reached conclusions based on the preponderance of the evidence standard, which I was required to apply based on the league’s rules.’’
“To the extent Mr. Yee is suggesting that I have some type of conflict because I and my law firm do other work for the NFL, I want to be clear that it is well known that I worked for the NFL in the Miami Dolphins investigation involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. And also that my law firm is involved in representing the NFL in the concussion cases. Those facts were all publicly known at the time I was appointed. When I was appointed to be the independent investigator, no one at the Patriots, or in Mr. Brady’s camp, raised ANY issues about my independence or my integrity to judge the evidence impartially and fairly. In fact, Mr. Kraft, to my recollection, publicly said he welcomed my appointment. I think it is wrong to criticize my independence just because you disagree with my findings.’’
Wells said during the call that his investigation will “no question’’ cost “in the millions of dollars.’’ He said that he bills by the hour.
As far as the Patriots cooperation with his investigation or lack thereof, Wells said that the team provided him with “substantial cooperation’’ while noting that one exception to that was the failure to make officials’ locker room attendant Jim McNally available for a follow-up interview.
And on the topic of which pressure gauge referee Walt Anderson used to measure the Patriots footballs, which Anderson could not recall in the Wells report, Wells’s partner Lorin Reisner said, “It really doesn’t matter,’’ as per CSNNE.com.
Timeline of Deflategate