In his ongoing battle to salvage his reputation and big-league career, Alex Rodriguez has hired the same private-investigation firm Dominique Strauss-Kahn used to successfully contest a 2011 rape allegation.
Earlier this summer, the Yankees’ third baseman retained gumshoes from Guidepost Solutions, a well-connected New York firm headed by former federal prosecutor Bart Schwartz, according to a source close to Rodriguez. Guidepost has been working closely with A-Rod’s lawyers in recent weeks, the source said, as the baseball player tries mount a defense to allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs, among other league violations.
Asked about the assignment, Andy O’Connell, Guidepost’s chief executive and a former federal prosecutor, declined to comment. At publication time, neither David Cornwell, the lead lawyer from Rodriguez, nor his other lawyers had responded to requests for comment.
A-Rod must surely be hoping the pricey P.I.’s at Guidepost can deliver the same kind of results they did for DSK. Amid an international media frenzy, the Guidepost investigators were able to quickly obtain damaging information about Strauss-Kahn’s complainant, Nafissatou Diallo. Prosecutors dropped all charges against the former International Monetary Fund chief soon after.
“Old-fashioned detective work” is how, in an interview with New York earlier this year, Schwartz described Guidepost’s work in the DSK case. Schwartz said his team’s suspicions were initially raised by surveillance footage from the Sofitel hotel where DSK was staying. “It was evidence that something was wrong with the story being told,” he said.
DSK’s lead lawyer, Ben Brafman, credits the firm with playing a key role in his client’s exoneration. “The breathtaking speed and vast resources they were able to bring to such an assignment was nothing short of extraordinary,” he said.
A-Rod’s entanglements with Major League Baseball, however, are far different than DSK’s quagmire. Earlier this week, the league suspended Rodriguez for 211 games, effectively the rest of the year and the 2014 season. He plans to appeal the punishment and hopes to present his case to an independent arbitrator.
Meanwhile, his team of lawyers and investigators at Guidepost are most certainly trying to interview witnesses and uncover any information about MLB’s investigation that could help him stay in the Yankees’ lineup and collect his astronomical salary. Along with using performance-enhancing drugs, league officials have suggested A-Rod might have tampered with evidence and tried to interfere with their investigation into Biogenesis, a south Florida clinic accused of peddling steroids to players. The league suspended twelve other players in addition to A-Rod.
“I’m fighting for my life,” Rodriguez told reporters earlier this week, after the league announced its decision. “I have to defend myself. If I don’t defend myself, no one else will.”