New Orleans (NFL/Newsfeed) – State and federal law officials have opened an investigation to determine if New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis violated wiretapping laws after allegations that a rigged device in his stadium suite allowed him to listen to opposing coaches’ conversations.
“The FBI invited us to come into their investigation,” Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, stated Tuesday. “We assigned a trooper that performs with the FBI to follow their investigation. These are allegations at this point. We deal with details. We’ll appear at anything to determine if there is something to stick to and see if state laws are violated on our end. The FBI is investigating federal laws.
“With all allegations, we’ll see if state laws were violated, and if so, we’ll check out with the district lawyer to see where we proceed.”
The FBI declined to say if it was investigating the allegations, which Loomis has vigorously denied. Local FBI spokeswoman Sheila Thorne would only say the bureau is “in receipt of the allegations” and would “have no further comment.” She also declined to say who created the allegations.
ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” reported Monday that an unidentified source claimed Loomis ordered a device in his Superdome suite be re-wired so he could listen to opponents’ conversations by means of his personal earpiece from 2002 to 2004. The report stated it is unknown if Loomis ever used the device, which was situated in front of his seat.
The Superdome was re-wired and remodeled, following the damage it sustained after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and other upgrades produced to the city’s landmark domed stadium, so that could make locating evidence of these allegations tough.
Loomis could have violated state and federal wiretapping laws if he did listen to opponents with no their information, but the statute of limitations to prosecute him if he’s found to have utilised the device could have expired, based on the timeframe of the allegations. The federal statute of limitations is 5 years in such instances, and it’s six years according to Louisiana state law.
Even so, Loomis could face sanctions from the NFL if law enforcement or its personal investigation finds wrongdoing. The league stated the ESPN report was the initial they’d heard of the wiretapping allegations but declined to say if it’s opening its own investigation.
“We heard the reports just as you did yesterday, and it’s some thing that U.S. lawyer’s office will make a determination on and we’ll make a judgment from there,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday on “The Wealthy Eisen Podcast.” “We changed our technologies a couple of years ago to exactly where this would be impossible or near impossible to do in this day and age.”
Loomis, the Saints and other former team officials adamantly denied the claims. A team source mentioned he wasn’t conscious if law enforcement had interviewed Loomis about this current accusation.
“This report on ESPN is completely false,” Loomis mentioned in a statement e-mailed by the team. “I have a monitor in front of me in my booth that gives the league issued stats for the game. I have a little Television with the network broadcast and I have an earpiece to listen to the WWL-AM radio (flagship broadcaster) game broadcast. To believe I am sitting in there listening … and or undertaking something with the offensive and defensive play calls of the opposing teams makes this story and the unnamed sources that offered the false details that considerably much more less credible … it just didn’t come about.”
Edmonson said he hasn’t put a timeframe on the investigation, but “we owe it to the individuals involved to do an expeditious investigation but do a thorough investigation and fair investigation that maintains the highest level of integrity and professionalism.”
The allegations against Loomis come in the course of an ugly offseason for the Saints, who are embroiled in a “bounty” scandal that resulted in coach Sean Payton getting suspended for the season, Loomis for eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six. The team also was fined $ 500,000 and docked second-round draft picks this year and in 2013 for a bounty system that financially rewarded defensive players for hits that injured opponents.
Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.
(About:) This write-up was distributed by Syndicated Sports news wire and aggregation service, For far more NFL news see: Law Enforcement Investigates Mickey Loomis.