Donald Sterling, the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner who was notoriously caught on audio tape making racially discriminatory statements, recently made news for hiring several private investigation firms to “dig up dirt” on fellow NBA owners. Specifically, it appears that Sterling is using the PIs in an attempt to identify any previous discriminatory behavior and conduct by the NBA and the other 29 NBA franchise owners to use as ammunition in an impending lawsuit against the league.
According to CNN, Sterling, who has been forced by the NBA to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, is giving each investigative firm a budget of $50,000 dollars and 30 days to identify instances where fellow owners made “questionable remarks” including any statement that would be considered sexist or racist. While Sterling’s behavior has certainly been deplorable and the case is an extravagant example (investigative services can be obtained for far less than 50k) it does offer some insight into the role of the private investigator in the modern world.
“Digging up Dirt” to level the playing field.
It is often said that one of the primary roles of the private investigator is to “dig up dirt” on an adversary, and certainly this muckraking element has been played up by the media in Sterling’s case. While digging up dirt is a frequent undertaking of any investigative firm, the term has acquired a largely unearned pejorative meaning in the modern usage. Digging up dirt can best be thought of as acquiring information that may help achieve a settlement or a reduced sentence in a civil or criminal case.
In Sterling’s case, it is clear why this service is valuable – he’s unable to deny that he made the statements (he was caught on tape), therefore, it behooves him to show that the NBA has somehow treated similarly situated parties (NBA owners who have made discriminatory remarks) differently and unfairly. Private investigators are well suited to dig up this information and have experience identifying knowledgeable sources who may be willing to talk. Once these parties are identified, an experienced private investigator will be able to interview the witness in a way that invites the witness to share their information.
This information gathering service has a significant number of applications for regular people (i.e. those who don’t own NBA teams). As private investigators, we’ve used our ability to find information (“dirt” if you must) in the following contexts:
- Child custody cases
- Guardianship cases
- Civil litigation
- Discrediting adverse witnesses
- New employee background checks
- Much more
You don’t need to own an NBA Franchise to hire a private investigator
Though Donald Sterling has the ability to hire teams of private investigators at $50,000 a piece, most of us who don’t own NBA teams likely can’t afford that. That’s why we tailor our services to fit most budgets. Valuable investigative services can be obtained for as little as a few hundred dollars.
If you need someone to do some “digging” (or any other investigative services), call us today at (520) 882-2723.