The Washington Bullets yesterday placed two front office employes -- one a high ranking team official -- on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by Prince George's County police of an illegal bookmaking and betting operation allegedly being run out off the team's offices in the Capital Centre.
The two officials -- Chip Reed, the team's marketing director, and Randy Quartemont, director of season ticket sales -- will continue to draw their salaries while on leave, according to a Bullets spokesman.
The investigation by Prince George's police -- first disclosed in Sunday's Washington Post -- has been under way for six months and has focused on Reed and Quartemont and at least two other club employes, according to informed sources.
Police officials said yesterday they were continuing their interviewing on the case and would soon meet with States Attorney Arthur A. Marshall to determine whether there is enough evidence ffor prosecutions.
National Basketball Association officials said yesterday they were cooperating fully with the police probe and would await its outcome before taking any league action.
The county police investigation has been conducted in secret and was considered extremely sensitive because of the ramifications a gambling connection could have on the prosessional franchise.
The investigation centers on allegations that Reed and Quartemont were using their Capital Centre offices to place large bets for themselves and other employes. Sources said the betting amounted to $100 a day, and may have involved up to 20 Capital Centre and Bullets employes.
The alleged bookmaking operation is said to be connected to a larger, long-running illegal betting network in the Washington area.
The NBA club's highest ranking officials -- team owner Abe Pollin, president Jerry Sachs and general manager Bob Ferry -- had no knowledge of the alleged gambling operation to any of the team's coaches or players, nor do they have any evidence that games have been fixed.
Bullets public relations director Mark Pray issued a statement yesterday saying the club was "greatly concerned about the allegations (and) will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities" in the police probe.
Reed and Quartemont could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The Bullets probe began last December after the county police vice intelligence unit staged a gambling raid at a Laurel apartment belonging to Reed.
During the raid, police conffiscated money and gambling equipment and arrested Leonard Harold Goldberg, who was charged with bookmaking and other gambling-related offenses. Goldberg was eventually placed on probation as a result off a plea bargain with prosecutors.
Reed, who was away during the raid at his apartment, was not arrested or charged by police. Sources said Reed has maintained that he lent the apartment to Goldberg, described as a friend, unaware that it would be used for a bookmaking operation.
The Laurel raid led police to look into allegations that Reed and Quartemont were involved in an illegal gambling ring. They conducted the probe with half a dozen investigators and several well-placed informers inside the Capital Centre.
Yesterday, county police spokesman Bob Law said that "because of premature release by a local daily newspaper of our investigation into alleged bookmaking and sports betting operations at the front office of the Washington Bullets basketball team in Largo, Md., we will now have to evaluate the case to see if we have enough to prosecute the people that we have been making surveilances on."
In the request of the polce, we withheld publication of this story for more than three weeks. Senior police officials made our position and the position of their investigation untenable by going around the local county groups and telling them that The Post was sitting on a story at their request."