Quoting anonymous sources, ESPN’s Out of Bounds program is today reporting that Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis had an electronic device in his Superdome suite secretly re-wired so he could eavesdrop on visiting coaching staffs. The device was re-wired for three seasons, ESPN reports, from 2003-2005, but the network was unable to determine whether Loomis actually made use of the electronic setup.
If he did listen in, Loomis' action could be both a violation of NFL rules and potentially a federal crime, according to legal sources ESPN spoke with. Eastern District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney Jim Letten acknowledged to ESPN that he was told of the allegations Friday. ESPN reported that the FBI in New Orleans had also been briefed about Loomis’ alleged activity.
Letten, however, would not confirm to The Times-Picayune whether he alerted the FBI and also said he was “not at liberty to say” who brought the allegations to him.
A spokesman for the NFL told the New Orleans newspaper the league was not aware of the allegations.
A Saints spokesman is denying the allegations, and analysts on ESPN were immediately skeptical.
The T-P further notes that the statute of limitations on any possible state or federal violations has passed.
Not that legal implications matter much if these allegations are true. It would take years for the Saints to recover from this, and the structure of top management at the organization would likely look quite different than it does today.
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DEC 20 The Robertson family is playing hardball in their dispute with A&E, the network that airs the wildly profitable "reality" show about their family, Duck Dynasty. Patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended by the network after GQ printed an interview with him that contained his (unedited) comments about gay and black folks. Here's a link to their statement, in which they say they can't imagine the show without papa and announcing that they are in negotiations with A&E about the future of the show.
DEC 20 Blogger Robert Mann (also a journalism prof at LSU and thus an authority on the First Amendment) says something in this post of which a lot of Fox News anchors and internet trolls should take heed: the Constitution says you have freedom of speech. It does not say you can't face consequences for what you say. He also takes a look at what our governor has to say -- and ole Bobby had to drag Miley Cyrus into it.
DEC 20 Blogger Tom Aswell says Governor Bobby Jindal has now had more to say about the comments a "reality" star made about gay and black people than he has had to say about the problems in his own voucher program or the sinkhole in Bayou Corne. In fact, Tom points out, Bobby's all over the Phil Robertson "issue" like "a duck on a June bug."
DEC 20 Here's an interesting post from blogger Katie East in DIG Magazine about celebrity passings. She understands why so many would be sad because of Mandela's passing -- he was an international figure, a political figure, an activist. But there is similar wailing following the passing of people who may not have had the same impact, she says -- like the guy who starred in the Fast and Furious movies. She wants to know: why is that?
DEC 20 Columnist James Gill writes about Louisiana's embattled voucher program in this post. Just because a child attends a private school does not mean he's going to get a good education, Gill writes. Gov. Jindal likes to say the program helps kids get a great education, but whether it does that is open to "considerable doubt," Gill writes.
DEC 20 Gambit's Clancy DuBos writes about the NOLA mayor's race in this post. For a while, it was assumed that it would be a quiet one, given the amount of money Mitch has in the bank. But at the last minute, a (possibly) formidable candidate threw his hat in the ring. The question is, Clancy says, why?
DEC 20 In Louisiana's education system, the state takes over a school that is designated as "failing." The assumption is, that's a good thing and will produce improvement. But is that the case? Blogger Mike Deshotels takes a look at how takeovers perform in one area of testing, the ACT.
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