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#pounditWednesday, October 27, 2021

Angels accused of withholding information in Tyler Skaggs case

A former Los Angeles Angels employee is awaiting trial after he was charged with distributing the drugs that led to Tyler Skaggs’ death, and the team is now being accused of withholding information in the case.

Former Angels communications director Eric Kay has been charged with distributing the fentanyl that led to Skaggs’ overdose in July of 2019. Kay’s trial is set to begin in six weeks. According to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, federal prosecutors filed a motion in Texas court on Monday claiming the Angels have refused to comply with a subpoena seeking information about members of the organization potentially distributing drugs.

“Put simply, it strains credulity to accept any assertion that the Angels’s organization has not a single document, record, or report for months after one of its pitchers overdosed and died on a trip taken by the team, for months after Kay confessed to another Angels employee that he was in [Skaggs’] room late on June 30, 2019, and witnessed [Skaggs] ingesting drugs; and for weeks after learning about allegations of drug distribution by employee(s) within the organization,” the motion states.

The motion asks the court to order the Angels to produce documents related to “drug distribution within the [Angels] organization” by next Monday. The Angels opposed the motion in court on Tuesday and said the team has “produced thousands of pages of documents and an entire computer hard drive to the government in response to at least five subpoenas and requests for information.” The team says the only documents that haven’t been turned over are “those protected by the attorney-client privilege and work product protections, including those relating to its internal investigation arising out of [Skaggs’] death.”

Kay has been charged with multiple counts of distributing fentanyl dating back to 2017. Prosecutors recently said that several MLB players will testify during the trial to receiving oxycodone from Kay between 2017 and 2019.

Federal prosecutors claim the Angels have documents that discuss how Kay has a history of opioid abuse and has distributed drugs to members of the organization. They say the team also has documents that discuss people other than Kay “unlawfully distributing drugs to players or others in the organization.”

Skaggs, who was 27, died after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room with fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system on July 1, 2019. Before he was charged, Kay had admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He said two other Angels employees, one of which was former vice president of communications Tim Mead, knew about Skaggs’ drug use.

The family of Skaggs filed a lawsuit against the Angels earlier this year accusing the organization of wrongful death and negligence.

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