Eleven months into his 15-month gambling sentence, ex-NBA referee Tim Donaghy was released from a federal prison camp in Florida yesterday to take up residence at a halfway house near Tampa for the remainder of his term.
Donaghy, 42, a native of Havertown, left the facility in Pensacola at midnight, according to Pat Zaranek, an official of Executive Prison Consultants, the firm Donaghy has hired to ease his transition.
"He was transferred by bus departing Pensacola at midnight, arriving in Tallahassee, and then put on a Greyhound to Tampa," Zaranek said.
Earlier, Zaranek had said that Donaghy would be departing the prison sometime between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., apparently to allow his client to exit without media scrutiny.
Prison officials "just don't want to deal with it," Zaranek said, according to the Associated Press.
Donaghy pleaded guilty in August 2007 to charges that he engaged in wire fraud and provided inside information on NBA games to a pair of Delaware County gamblers who were also high school friends.
Those men, Thomas Martino and James Battista, also pleaded guilty to related charges and were imprisoned.
Last week, Zaranek's firm announced that Donaghy had been attacked in prison by an inmate connected to organized crime in New York. He suffered a knee injury, Zaranek said, and now is free to have the leg surgically repaired.
At the halfway house, Donaghy will be able to resume his relationship with friends and family, including his four daughters, and begin seeking employment.
According to Zaranek, while in prison, the referee completed a memoir of his 13-year career in the NBA.
Donaghy "details his involvement with underworld figures in the betting scandal that rocked professional basketball and led to his downfall," the firm said in a statement
"His frame of mind is very good," said Donaghy's father, Gerry, according to USA Today. "He's looking forward to seeing his kids."