As expected, it's not the illegal gambling that was veteran Cleveland sports personality Bruce Drennan's downfall...it was the taxes.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports this afternoon that Drennan pleaded guilty to evading federal taxes on winnings from betting on baseball games in 2003 and 2004. The plea deal between Drennan and prosecutors will put the talk host behind bars for five months, and under house arrest for up to another five months.
Drennan admitted placing the illegal bets with David Hammon Jr., who's now in prison on a two-year sentence for operating an illegal gambling operation and evading taxes. Prosecutors indicated earlier that they would not go after Drennan on the gambling charges, leaving only the tax evasion charges against him.
The former WKNR/850 and WTAM/1100 sports talker has been working as program director and midday host for Paul Belfi's SportsTalkCleveland.com (aka SportsTalkNetwork.com), a Cleveland-based Internet sports radio outlet. Until news of the gambling investigation surfaced, and resurfaced, Drennan held down mid-mornings at Salem sports talk WKNR...moving from morning drive after the station added ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike".
Drennan has actually been on TV frequently in the past few days, as one of the folks featured in SportsTime Ohio's special on the 25th anniversary of Indians pitcher Len Barker's perfect game in 1981. Drennan was in the Tribe TV booth that day, alongside play-by-play voice Joe Tait... who's rather busy these days with the Cavaliers' extended playoff run.
Bruce Drennan's formal sentencing is set for July...