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Thread: Saints lawsuit

  1. #1
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    Saints lawsuit

    Payton denies allegations in lawsuit
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    Associated Press

    NEW ORLEANS -- Less than three months after their thrilling victory in the Super Bowl, the New Orleans Saints have been accused by their former security director of trying to cover up the theft of prescription pain pills from the club's drug locker.

    One of those involved was head coach Sean Payton, two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the suit. Payton and the Saints denied the allegations, and Payton was not named in court papers.

    The lawsuit, filed Friday by Geoffrey Santini, a former FBI agent who resigned from the club in August 2009, alleged one senior staff member stole Vicodin pills while another was given an amount large enough to constitute abuse.



    I have never abused or stolen Vicodin or any other medication and I fully support the Saints' position in this matter.

    -- Saints coach Sean Payton


    The suit did not name the staff members. However, the two people familiar with the case said Payton allegedly was allowed to take a large quantity of pills from the team supply, and another staff member allegedly stole pills. No allegations were made against any Saints players, the two people said.

    Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said the allegations are false and the club will aggressively defend itself in court. And Payton, who was at his vacation home in Watercolor, Fla., on Saturday, denied any wrongdoing.

    "I have reviewed Geoff Santini's lawsuit and the unwarranted publicity it has received," Payton said in a statement released by the team. "I have never abused or stolen Vicodin or any other medication and I fully support the Saints' position in this matter."

    NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that while the league had not read the complaint, "we are aware of the lawsuit and that the Saints reject the claims as false."

    The theft of Vicodin, a narcotic used to relieve moderate to severe pain, is a state and federal offense. Any attempt to cover up such a theft also could constitute a state or federal crime. Failure to report a felony also is a federal crime.

    Santini's attorney, Donald Hyatt II, said he was not aware if any criminal charges had been filed. He said if there was a sealed indictment it would not have been made public.

    Santini reported the possible violations to federal authorities on June 23, 2009. He resigned from the Saints on Aug. 16, 2009, and first alerted the Saints of his intent to sue the club on Sept. 14, Hyatt said.

    Santini worked 31 years for the FBI. His lawsuit says he resigned from the Saints because of a disagreement over the team's handling of the Vicodin episode.

    Santini is seeking damages and back pay.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Wow...

    The word of a long-time FBI agent is something they aren't going to be able to blow off.
    Only fools bet against Tim Tebow.

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  4. #4
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    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...n-allegations/
    Sean Payton is expected to issue statement regarding Vicodin allegations
    Posted by Mike Florio on May 1, 2010 4:21 PM ET
    In the wake of a lawsuit identifying two unnamed senior members of the Saints' staff as recipients of unauthorized quantities of the painkiller known as Vicodin, we have reported that the two unnamed staff members are coach Sean Payton and assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt.

    We're told that Payton is expected to soon issue a statement denying that he stole Vicodin from the team's drug locker. Based on the precise language of the lawsuit, Payton's expected position is accurate. The precise allegation directed to "Senior Staff Member A" (i.e., Payton) is that he received sufficient Vicodin tablets to constitute evidence of abuse.

    Paragraph 6 of the "Petition" filed by former director of security Geoffrey Santini alleges that trainer Scottie Patton told Santini that Vicodin pills were missing from the team drug locker. Paragraph 7 alleges that Santini noticed that "a large number of pills" had been dispensed to "Senior Staff Member A" and "Senior Staff Member B." Paragraph 8 alleges that Patton told G.M. Mickey Loomis that "[s]omeone was stealing" the medication. Paragraph 8 also alleges that Patton said the amount of pills dispensed to "Senior Staff Member A" was sufficient to constitute abuse.

    Paragraph 11 alleges that video from a hidden camera placed in the room after the issue arose showed that "Senior Staff Member B" had accessed the drug locker and removed pills from a bottle of Vicodin.

    Thus, to be clear, the lawsuit alleges that Senior Staff Member A and Senior Staff Member B received sufficient amounts of Vicodin to constitute abuse, and that Senior Staff Member B was seen on video tape entering the drug locker and removing Vicodin pills. There is no specific allegation that Senior Staff Member A (i.e., Payton) obtained Vicodin directly from the drug locker. Instead, the only allegation pertaining to Senior Staff Member A is that he was receiving sufficient Vicodin tablets to constitute evidence of abuse.

    In an eventual meeting attended by Santini, G.M. Mickey Loomis, and owner Tom Benson, Benson reviewed a memo regarding the situation and allegedly said that Senior Staff Member A and Senior Staff Member B "had placed the team in a bad position."

    This clarification and elaboration does not change our earlier report regarding the identity of the unnamed senior staff members. Multiple sources have advised us that "Senior Staff Member A" as used in the lawsuit refers to Sean Payton and that "Senior Staff Member B" as used in the lawsuit refers to Joe Vitt.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...-santini-suit/
    New Orleans paper confirms Sean Payton, Joe Vitt as unnamed employees in Santini suit
    Posted by Mike Florio on May 1, 2010 7:00 PM ET
    We reported shortly after noon Saturday that coach Sean Payton and assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt are the unnamed Saints employees to whom former director of security Geoffrey Santini's lawsuit refers in connection with the alleged abuse and/or theft of Vicodin from the team drug locker.

    Several hours later, after Payton issued a statement denying any abuse or theft of Vicodin, Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times Picayune reported the same thing -- without, of course, crediting us.

    Ordinarily, we'd have no problem with writers or (more often) editors pretending not to notice something we have reported. (After eight-plus years, we've sort of gotten numb to it.) In this case, however, we suspect that the Times-Picayune knew damn well that Payton and Vitt were "Senior Staff Member A" and "Senior Staff Member B," respectively, but didn't have the guts to go with it until after Payton issued a denial. (We'll admit that we're speculating on this specific point; if anyone from the Times-Pic wants to provide us with an official explanation regarding the reason for their decision not to credit us despite the fact that their report came four hours after ours, we're all ears.)

    Meanwhile, we've got to give credit where credit is due for, um, giving credit. ESPN.com has expressly acknowledged that Payton's statement came in response to our report, an admirable gesture given that we've taken a few shots at the four-letter network lately.

    Finally, to all of you who believed/hoped/prayed that we'd finally put ourselves in line for the kind of lawsuit that would shut us down permanently, do you really think we're that stupid?

    I mean, we're stupid. But we're not that stupid.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DancingHorsey View Post
    Wow...

    The word of a long-time FBI agent is something they aren't going to be able to blow off.
    For sure. This isn't just some schlep, and it's not as if he didn't have a sweet post-retirement gig or anything to boot. I mean the guy got a security job at an NFL franchise (presumably not an entry-level position).

    He didn't just up and quit so he could get his name in some Internet blogs.

    Pretty compelling.

  6. #6
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    I mean, we're stupid. But we're not that stupid.

    LOL

  7. #7
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    Don't worry, most of the NFL will still glorify the Saints for what they've done.

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