Daniel Connaughton is a Lawyer and a Sports Law Professor at Notre Dame
Daniel Connaughton is an associate professor in the Department of Sport Management. His primary area of research and teaching involves legal aspects related to sport and physical activity.
Blount’s October 30 Editor’s Notebook column could have led the jury to believe that its intent was to precondition readers for the Thompson charges which would be published two days later, on November 1. Connaughton and other witnesses had yet been interviewed at that time, so their possible impact remains unclear.
Early Life and Education
Connaughton emerged from Notre Dame as an NBA prospect during his senior year. He received scholarships from Boston College, Virginia and North Carolina schools — his dream schools — as well as recording the highest standing vertical leap and three-quarter court sprint times at the draft combine.
Prior to the election on November 8, 1983, Connaughton filed his candidacy for municipal judge in Hamilton City Court with Butler County Circuit Court (Journal News). Recently, the director of its office had been arrested on charges of bribery.
June Taylor, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving for Hamilton City Court, informed Martha Connaughton that Patsy Stephens, her former partner’s ex-wife in Hamilton City Court proceedings, had crucial information regarding special treatment she believed he had received there and was willing to share. Stevens agreed to meet Martha Connaughton at her residence for a taped interview on September 17.
After his basketball career was complete, Connaughton embarked on his professional legal practice at various law firms representing clients in areas including real estate, business law and personal injury litigation.
He served as general counsel of the Hamilton County Democratic Party and attended the 1980 Democratic National Convention as a delegate.
Henry Masana (Masana), New’s lawyer, met with Jim Blount and Joe Cocozzo of the Journal News to discuss allegations made by Alice Thompson against Stephens that had appeared in the Enquirer. This meeting took place in Masana’s law office and was tape-recorded for later review by all involved. Attended were Stephens, Alice Thompson, two supporters, a reporter from Pamela Long’s office at Masana Law Office as well as eight individuals discussing various issues related to New.
Achievement and Honors
Connaughton could have ended his Division II basketball career and begun full-time preparing for the baseball draft, but instead decided to stay at Notre Dame for another year to help teammates, including NBA prospect Jerian Grant.
Thompson claims Connaughton and two of his supporters gave her tapes of a session that she claims lasted until 5:30 a.m. The tapes reportedly contained promises for Alice Thompson at Walt’s Chambers and an invitation for a post-election trip to Florida with both sisters as well as family members of Connaughton.
Connaughton has served as principal investigator on extramurally funded contracts and grants exceeding $15M, his research focused on safety issues related to sports, recreation, physical education and aquatics.
As an attorney, Connaughton believed he oweded it to himself and the public at large to expose these alleged criminal acts of such magnitude and present them in such a way as to give credibility and weight to his information.
Early September, Connaughton received news from Patsy Stephens, his wife’s sister and mother, that she intended to reveal information regarding special treatment her former husband received at Hamilton Municipal Court. She agreed to meet him at his house for an interview.
Stevens stated in her affidavit that she intended to testify about how Connaughton made numerous promises to her and her sister while making numerous threats extort them; this evidence would then form the basis for a Journal News article to be published soon afterward.
Connaughton offered his services when Jack Quinn needed someone to draft an executive privilege speech without pay; doing this night after night and weekends without payment until Jack’s replacement, Bob Kaufman approached him to join Arnold & Porter; it proved to be the biggest windfall of his life!
Status in the private sector depended on one’s production rather than giving away, drawing thousands of former senators and representatives away from K Street for Wall Street firms with millions in annual earnings – providing an opportunity to break free of Washington politics by becoming wealthy if one became partner in such an organization. This was their chance at success – they could use Wall Street firms as their chance of breaking away from corruption if he succeeded in becoming partner at one.